Friday 6th July 2018
The NHS defines anxiety as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Anxiety can be a symptom of several conditions and it is important to find the root of the symptoms that may be experienced when someone is suffering from anxiety.
Many people living with anxiety will be diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) this is a common condition which affects an estimated 5% of the UK population.
- The symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder can vary for each individual but often include physical symptoms such as:
- Difficulty relaxing and sleeping
- Feeling dizzy and tired
- Heavy perspiration and an irregular heart rate
- Trouble breathing regularly and staying calm
- Feeling nauseous and unwell
- Panic attacks
Anxiety is alongside the most common mental health disorders in the UK and it affects marginally more women than men.
People with anxiety disorder will experience good days and bad days. We all have times when we feel worried or uneasy about something that is going on in our lives. When this happens, Physically and mentally our bodies will experience the fight or flight response. This is completely normal in times of stress and when we resolve or accept the situation making us feel this way, these feelings will diminish.
For example, a person may be worried about going to the dentist, they may try to avoid going by making excuses and try to cancel appointments and they may be fearful about going. However, after they have attended the appointment those feelings will ebb away. Another example could be a situation in the workplace where a person has to deal with conflict, they may avoid these situations by subconsciously justifying ways to evade them. This is the flight response.
The fight response may come in when confrontation starts, and a person may become fractious and aggressive. These reactions are all normal but for people with GAD, the fight and flight response can become out of their control and responses and thought processes can be seen to be irrational and unrealistic.
- People living with GAD will have numerous triggers for their anxiety. These triggers will vary for each individual but can include:
- Health and the health of loved ones
- Conflicts with friends or family
- Careers or work environments
- Sexual anxieties
For people that do not suffer from anxiety, the reactions of a person with GAD can appear to not be based in reality and be incredibly difficult to understand. This can cause conflicts in relationships both at home and in the workplace.
It is often difficult for a person dealing with anxiety to reach acceptance that they have a condition. They may try to rationalise their anxiety by blaming external triggers or try to avoid it.
Once diagnosed with GAD, one way of dealing with this condition is to find a counsellor. A therapist can help identify the source of anxiety, they will also be able to provide various skills to help deal with anxiety when it occurs. Counselling can also help to normalise behaviours, reassure people that they are not on their own and help develop coping strategies.
In order to make sure that you get the best help, it is important to find a qualified counsellor. The National Counselling society holds an accredited register that allows people to find a counsellor near them, that specialises in a particular area. All of our counsellors on the register are qualified, supervised, insured and subject to a code of ethics and complaints procedure.