Feeling anxious/worried is undoubtedly a fact of life, and there are very few of us who could say that we have never had any problems with it. It would be odd if we never experienced any anxiety at all but when anxiety becomes a problem and starts to overtake our thinking processes and our lives and makes it difficult for us to function.
Only a trained mental health practitioner can diagnose you as having a particular anxiety disorder.
There are different types of anxiety and fundamental features for each disorder that we will assess with you.
Below is an idea of the symptoms specific to these disorders:
Specific Phobia- A specific phobia is when people are frightened of one particular object or situation. Common phobias include flying, heights, spiders but there are lots of less common ones too. The person suffering from the phobia is likely to experience anxiety and panic and likely to avoid these situations.
Panic Disorder- Panic disorder is when people experience frequent periods of intense fear and anxiety when there is a perceived threat. This accompanied by intense physical sensations of rapid heart rate, sweating, trembling/shaking, shortness of breath or tightness in your throat, hot flushes, feeling faint.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder/Worry- GAD is diagnosed if people feel anxious most of the time, for long periods of time, and about a number of different things. Sufferers of GAD could also experience tiredness, restlessness, irritability and finding it hard to concentrate.
Social Anxiety- Social anxiety is diagnosed if people become excessively anxious in situation where there are others who the sufferer believes are judging them. Sufferers might be terrified of embarrassing themselves, or of other people thinking that they are lacking in some way, or just not liking them.
Health Anxiety- The essential feature of health anxiety is a fear of having a serious disease or contracting one. People are likely to be interpret physical sensations as evidence of something that is seriously wrong.
What can we do to help?
Our recommendation for anxiety disorders would be a CBT approach to support you to reduce your anxiety symptoms to a manageable level according to your individual therapy goals.
We could offer support to you and your family for a better understanding of anxiety and panic symptoms.
This is in accordance to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. NICE reviews all the available evidence about treatments for physical and mental health conditions, and produces guidance about which treatments should be offered.
This is available at www.nice.org.uk/CG113