Stress & Panic Attacks
Anxiety problems are very common.
About one person in ten consults a doctor at some time because they are feeling tense, anxious or worried. Many others suffer from problems that may result from anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety affects both the mind and the body. It refers to emotions and states of mind, such as fear, apprehension, being 'on edge', ‘keyed up', panicky or 'uptight', and worrying. It also refers to bodily sensations or symptoms, such as muscle tension, sweating, trembling, breathing fast, 'butterflies in the stomach' feeling sick, having diarrhoea, headache, backache or an irregular or racing heart beat.
Don't be put off by the word - Anxiety
It may be that you do not think of yourself as anxious. Even so, if you have some of these emotions and symptoms described above, you will still find some useful suggestions in the following paragraphs.
When is Anxiety a Problem?
Anxiety is a normal healthy reaction. It happens to everyone at times of danger, or in worrying situations. When you are anxious your body's systems speed up.
Sometimes the bodies response to anxiety can be advantageous. It prepares you for action and enables you to respond quickly if you need to. Moderate amounts of anxiety actually improve your performance at difficult times.
Anxiety becomes a problem when it occurs at times when there is no real danger or when it goes on long after the stress is over. If the anxiety response happens at times when you do not have to take action, it feels unpleasant. At this point it can be disadvantageous. It begins to interfere with everyday life and you will quickly feel, it is essential to learn how to control it.
Remember that anxiety is a normal reaction. You cannot banish it completely from your life, but you can learn to manage and control it.
Why do Symptoms of Anxiety and Tension Begin?
There is usually a combination of causes. Some of the important ones are:
The Amount Of Stress
Anxiety may begin at a time when you are in very stressful circumstances. You may have a single major problem, or several smaller problems may add up to an equal amount of stress. In either case, if the circumstances are stressful enough you feel anxious.
Some people seem to have a natural ability to cope well with stressful circumstances. Others can tolerate less and are more likely to react with anxiety.
Low tolerance does not mean that you cannot be helped. On the contrary those with low tolerance are very likely to benefit from learning how to cope better with stressful circumstances.
Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a relatively short-term focused psychotherapy for a wide range of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, anger, marital conflict, fears and substance abuse.
The focus of therapy is on how you are thinking (your 'cognitions'), behaving, and communicating today, rather than on your early childhood experiences. Numerous studies have demonstrated that cognitive-behavioural therapy is as effective as medication for depression, anxiety, obsessions and other fear. Furthermore, because patients learn self-help in therapy, they are often able to maintain their improvement after therapy has been completed.