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Anxiety

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Anxiety

Anxiety is an increasingly common mental health concern. It can present as a chronic condition, or a condition that comes and goes. Whatever the experience, anxiety can significantly affect the quality of life for many people.

Symptoms of Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety will present differently in each person, their type of anxiety and their circumstances. However, some commonly experienced symptoms include:

  • Feeling worried or panicked
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry mouth or having difficulty speaking
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling stuck or frozen
  • Muscle tightness or tension
  • Poor concentration or focus
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Feeling overwhelmed or tired

Anxiety is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of mental health concerns.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) causes discomfort and fear for people facing social situations, such as talking to other people, attending social events, meeting new people or spending time in public places. This condition can cause challenges for people during social interactions but can also cause challenges to their mental health well before or after an interaction has actually occurred.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) refers to a condition where the experience of anxiety is not triggered by specific circumstances but is a persistent challenge throughout everyday life, from daily chores to work related tasks. People with this type of anxiety often foreshadow something going wrong, even if there has been no indication that something terrible might happen.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)​ is a type of anxiety that has been triggered by witnessing or experiencing an event that may have threatened the life and safety of the individual or of the people around them. PTSD commonly occurs as a result of physical or sexual assault, serious accidents such as car collisions or workplace injuries, violence from war or torture, natural disasters such as flood of fire or complications with challenging personal experiences such as childbirth. People with PTSD may have flashbacks to the traumatic event, be unable to calm themselves even after the danger has subsided, or have feelings of numbness.

Complex post-traumatic ​stress disorder (CPTSD) is similar to PTSD but often occurs from ongoing or repeated events of trauma. CPTSD often occurs from harm perpetrated by an assigned caregiver or protector. This may include neglect or physical, sexually or emotional abuse from a parent, guardian, relative or community group leader. People with CPTSD may have suppressed their memories or may have frequent flashbacks or nightmares. They will often have difficulty with emotion regulation, relationships, self image and personal beliefs and values.

Obsessive compulsive ​disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder defined by a person experiencing obsession leading to compulsive behaviours. When a person carries out their compulsion, it provides a temporary relief from their discomfort or persistent thought. However, the compulsion may quickly and frequently resurface, impacting the individual’s ability to live the life they desire. They may also experience feelings of shame surrounding the diagnosis, which may actually exacerbate the condition, leaving them feeling helpless and overwhelmed.

Panic attacks are situations where someone feels intense and overwhelming anxiety or fear. Accompanying this are physical sensations, such as a rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, trembling, muscle tension and nausea. The sensations may be expected or unexpected.

Panic disorder is a condition where the panic attacks are recurrent, they trigger changes to the individual’s regular behaviour and they trigger a relentless fear that they may occur again.

Phobias are intense fears of objects, people, places or situations. Phobias are characterised by the fear being irrational in relation to the danger that the phobia presents. Another feature of phobias is that the fear significantly impacts the wellbeing of the individual and often interferes with their ability to live their life as they desire.

Anxiety counselling

Often, symptoms of anxiety will be present in response to an individual’s specific experiences or issues. However, sometimes an individual will not know where their anxiety has stemmed from. There is almost always a reason why someone experiences anxiety and your therapist can work collaboratively with you to find out the root cause of your presenting symptoms. Your therapist will work with you to develop practical strategies to manage overwhelming feelings of anxiety as they present themselves but it will be most beneficial to work together to uncover the underlying reasons for your distress. This may mean that your therapist will suggest regularly engaging in therapy, depending on the complexity of your history and distress.

Support for Anxiety at Create Balance

The therapists at Create Balance not only have extensive experience working with people who suffer from anxiety, but they also have lived experience of this mental health concern. This means you will be supported by someone who is genuinely understanding and empathetic of your concerns. They will acknowledge that seeking support can be especially difficult for people experiencing anxiety and they will create a safe space for you to share your worries and difficulties.

Geelong Counselling

Our therapists may conduct an assessment of your mental health and current levels of distress, which will give them valuable information about how to support you further. There are a range of therapeutic interventions they may draw on, depending on your personal needs. These may include mindfulness-based therapy, attachment-based therapy, exposure therapy, or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR). Using these therapies and psychotherapy, we can assist you to gain insights into your current situation and allow you to begin the healing process toward happiness, calmness, and confidence.