Anxiety and panic

Anxiety is a normal part of life. We all feel anxiety from time to time, and a certain amount of anxiety helps to motivate us to get on with life or to deal with difficult situations.

Anxiety involves a number of unpleasant experiences that we feel both in  our body and mind. These include:

  • increased heart rate and breathing
  • sweating
  • butterflies in the tummy
  • feeling nauseous
  • trembling
  • worry thoughts
  • thoughts going round and round
  • feeling that something bad is going to happen

Anxiety can become a problem if a person feels so anxious that they are unable to get on with things in life, or if their anxiety seems out of proportion to the situation.

Some people may experience a very intense level of anxiety known as panic.  This includes feelings of intense fear and very intense bodily symptoms including dizziness, palpitations and chest pains. During a panic attack people may feel as if  they are dying. Other people may feel detached from themselves, or unreal. This often seems to happen as if it “came out of the blue”.These experiences are so unpleasant that they can lead to people becoming anxious about having a panic attack, and then trying to avoid all situations when they think that this might happen.

Common forms of problem anxiety include:

  • social anxiety (an intense fear that you will be humiliated in social situations)
  • agoraphobia (a fear of leaving your home and going out into the world)
  • phobia (an excessive fear of a specific object or situation, such as injections)

Anxiety can be helped by a number of different therapies including CBT Psychodynamic Therapy and Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy.

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