This year, Mental Health Awareness week took place 15 to 21 May 2023, where the theme was ‘anxiety’.
With millions of people worldwide affected by anxiety, this article explains what anxiety is, and what support is available.
Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by feelings of worry, nervousness, and fear that can interfere with a person’s daily activities. Anxiety can range from mild to severe and can be caused by various factors, including genetics, environmental stressors, and life experiences.
Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but some common signs include excessive worry, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. People with anxiety may also experience physical symptoms, such as sweating, palpitations, trembling, and shortness of breath. Additionally, anxiety can cause feelings of dread, panic, and a sense of impending doom.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Each type of anxiety disorder has its unique symptoms and triggers:
- Generalised anxiety disorder is characterised by excessive and uncontrollable worry about various aspects of life, such as work, relationships, and health. People with generalised anxiety disorder may feel like their worries are irrational, but they have a difficult time controlling them.
- Panic disorder is characterised by sudden and intense feelings of fear or panic, often accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain, sweating, and trembling. Panic attacks can occur unexpectedly and can be terrifying for those who experience them.
- Social anxiety disorder is characterised by fear and avoidance of social situations, including public speaking, meeting new people, and attending social events. People with social anxiety disorder may feel self-conscious, judged, and embarrassed in social situations.
- Specific phobias involve an intense and irrational fear of a particular object or situation, such as heights, spiders, or flying. People with specific phobias may go to great lengths to avoid their triggers, which can interfere with their daily life.
Anxiety can be a debilitating condition, but fortunately, it is also highly treatable. There are several effective treatments available that can help individuals manage their anxiety and improve their quality of life.
One of the most common treatments for anxiety is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which is a type of therapy shown to be particularly effective in treating anxiety. CBT helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to their anxiety. Through this process, individuals can learn new coping skills and strategies to manage their anxiety more effectively.
Lifestyle changes can also be an effective way to manage anxiety. Engaging in regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing can all help reduce anxiety symptoms.
Finally, support from family and friends can be an important component of managing anxiety. Talking to loved ones about one’s struggles with anxiety can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide a sense of connection and support.
In conclusion, anxiety can be a challenging condition to live with, but there are several effective treatments available. Whether through therapy, lifestyle changes, or support from loved ones, individuals with anxiety can take steps to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. It is important for individuals experiencing anxiety to seek help from a healthcare professional to find the right treatment approach for their individual needs.
At MindBerry our professionals are fully qualified therapists who use all the latest accredited tools and techniques to support those suffering from anxiety. We offer face-to-face, video or audio one-to-one sessions with a therapist of your choice, so why not ‘GET IN TOUCH’ today.