What is Anxiety?
Unfortunately, sometimes we think we see a bear when there is no bear actually there. Maybe this is because we've seen a bear in the past and don't want this to happen again. Here, the feeling of safety is elusive. We always feel 'on edge'.
Signs of Anxiety
Difficulty relaxing or sleeping
Moving around a lot
"Something bad is going to happen."
"I can't cope with this."
"This is too awful."
"I'm having a heart attack."
"I need to get out of here."
"People will judge me."
Types of Anxiety
- Agoraphobia: The person feels very anxious in busy or crowded spaces, such as supermarkets, public transport, or public streets. The person needs to avoid such places or needs someone to accompany them if the go to such places. Sometimes panic attacks can occur.
- Death Anxiety: Death anxiety is a persistent fear that oneself or one's loved one's are going to die.
- General Anxiety Disorder (GAD): When a person suffers from GAD, they feel anxious about lots of different things and constantly worry. Often the thought 'What if..." repeatedly occurs, and there is persistent thoughts about terrible things that might happen. Sleep disturbance is common with GAD, as these thoughts can prevent the person from falling asleep or may wake people back up. Muscle aches and pains are common here too. For more detailed info on GAD, click here.
- Health Anxiety: Here, the person constantly worries about their health. They might frequently visit their GP about ailments and strange physical sensations only to be told their ailments have no medical explanation. Often the person is experiencing genuine physical sensations such as twinging, pain, and nausea.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is a common type of anxiety with can involve very disturbing thoughts and ritualistic behaviours such as cleaning, checking, and counting. For more informing, please read my more in-depth blog post on OCD here.
- Panic Disorder: Panic (or 'a panic attack') is an extreme form of anxiety, and involves sweating, nausea, dizziness, and so on. Sometimes panic attacks are associated with particular situations. Other times, however, the panic attacks can feel random. There is often the thought that something terrible is going to happen, such as a heart attack or death. The idea that a panic attack might happen again is very anxiety provoking in itself.
- Social Phobia: Social phobia involves feeling highly anxious is social situations where there is the possibility of having to perform or of be judged. Often such situations are avoided. For a more detailed blog on social phobia, click here.
- Specific Phobia: Specific phobias can involve particular anxiety-provoking triggers such as spiders, confined space, flying, and so on. Such phobias might also include animals, or specific foods.
When is Anxiety a Problem?
Finding a Therapist
If you don't live in Bristol, or if you want to look for other therapists in your area, you can visit the Find A Therapist website for a list of counsellors and psychotherapists in your area.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.