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Anxiety


What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed..


Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don't go away – when they're ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren't easily controlled.


Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average, one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life1. In a 12-month period, over two million Australians experience anxiety2.


Anxiety is common, but the sooner people with anxiety get support, the more likely they are to recover..

Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety conditions are sometimes not all that obvious as they often develop slowly over time and, given we all experience some anxiety at various points in our lives, it can be hard to know how much is too much..


Normal anxiety tends to be limited in time and connected with some stressful situation or event, such as a job interview. The type of anxiety experienced by people with an anxiety condition is more frequent or persistent, not always connected to an obvious challenge, and impacts on their quality of life and day-to-day functioning. While each anxiety condition has its own unique features, there are some common symptoms including:.


Physical:- panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy


Psychological:- excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, or obsessive thinking


Behavioural:- avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life


Unable to concentrate


These are just some of a number of symptoms that you might experience. They're not designed to provide a diagnosis – for that you'll need to see a doctor – but they can be used as a guide.

What causes anxiety?

An anxiety condition isn't developed or caused by a single factor but a combination of things. A number of other factors play a role, including personality factors, difficult life experiences and physical health.


Family history of mental health conditionsSome people who experience anxiety conditions may have a genetic predisposition towards anxiety and these conditions can sometimes run in a family. However, having a parent or close relative experience anxiety or other mental health condition doesn't mean you'll automatically develop anxiety.


Personality factors– Research suggests that people with certain personality traits are more likely to have anxiety. For example, children who are perfectionists, easily flustered, timid, inhibited, lack self-esteem or want to control everything, sometimes develop anxiety during childhood, adolescence or as adults.


Ongoing stressful events

Anxiety conditions may develop because of one or more stressful life events. Common triggers include:-

Work stress or job change

Change in living arrangements

Pregnancy and giving birth

Family and relationship problems

Major emotional shock following a stressful or traumatic event

Verbal, sexual, physical or emotional abuse or trauma

Death or loss of a loved one.


Physical health problems

Chronic physical illness can also contribute to anxiety conditions or impact on the treatment of either the anxiety or the physical illness itself. Common chronic conditions associated with anxiety conditions include:-

diabetes

asthma

hypertension and heart disease

Some physical conditions can mimic anxiety conditions, like an overactive thyroid. It can be useful to see a doctor and be assessed to determine whether there may be a medical cause for your feelings of anxiety.


Other mental health conditions

While some people may experience an anxiety condition on its own, others may experience multiple anxiety conditions, or other mental health conditions. Depression and anxiety conditions often occur together. It's important to check for and get assistance for all these conditions at the same time.


Substance use

Some people who experience anxiety may use alcohol or other drugs to help them manage their condition. In some cases, this may lead to people developing a substance use problem along with their anxiety condition. Alcohol and substance use can aggravate anxiety conditions particularly as the effects of the substance wear off. It's important to check for and get assistance for any substance use conditions at the same time.

Types of Anxiety
Many people with anxiety experience symptoms of more than one type of anxiety condition, and may experience depression as well. It's important to seek support early if you're experiencing anxiety. Your symptoms may not go away on their own and if left untreated, they can start to take over your life.


Generalised anxiety disorder ( GAD ):-

A person feels anxious on most days, worrying about lots of different things, for a period of six months or more..


Social Anxiety:-
A person has an intense fear of being criticised, embarrassed or humiliated, even in everyday situations, such as speaking publicly, eating in public, being assertive at work or making small talk.


Specific Phobias:-
A person feels very fearful about a particular object or situation and may go to great lengths to avoid it, for example, having an injection or travelling on a plane. There are many different types of phobias..


Panic Disorder:-
A person has panic attacks, which are intense, overwhelming and often uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with a range of physical symptoms. Someone having a panic attack may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and excessive perspiration. Sometimes, people experiencing a panic attack think they are having a heart attack or are about to die. If a person has recurrent panic attacks or persistently fears having one for more than a month, they're said to have panic disorder. .


Other conditions where anxiety is present

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( OCD ) :-

A person has ongoing unwanted/intrusive thoughts and fears that cause anxiety. Although the person may acknowledge these thoughts as silly, they often try to relieve their anxiety by carrying out certain behaviours or rituals. For example, a fear of germs and contamination can lead to constant washing of hands and clothes.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):-

Mania is like the opposite of depression and can vary in intensity – symptoms include feeling great, having lots of energy, having racing thoughts and little need for sleep, talking quickly, having difficulty focusing on tasks, and feeling frustrated and irritable. This is not just a fleeting experience. Sometimes the person loses touch with reality and has episodes of psychosis. Experiencing psychosis involves hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that is not there) or having delusions (e.g. the person believing he or she has superpowers).This can happen after a person experiences a traumatic event (e.g. war, assault, accident, disaster). Symptoms can include difficulty relaxing, upsetting dreams or flashbacks of the event, and avoidance of anything related to the event. PTSD is diagnosed when a person has symptoms for at least a month.


Treatments for Anxiety?

A range of health professionals and services offer information, treatment and support for anxiety conditions, as well as a number of things you can do to help yourself.


Effective treatment helps you learn how to control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you. The type of treatment will depend on the type of anxiety you're experiencing.


For mild symptoms your health professional might suggest lifestyle changes, such as regular physical exercise and reducing your stress levels. You might also like to try online e-therapies, many of which are free, anonymous and easily accessible for anyone with internet access. Where symptoms of anxiety are moderate to severe, psychological and/or medical treatments are likely to be required.


The important thing is finding the right treatment and the right health professional for your needs..


Psychological treatments (also known as talking therapies) can help you change your thinking patterns so you're able to keep your anxiety under control and reduce irrational worries.


Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT):-

CBT is a structured psychological treatment which recognises that the way we think (cognition) and act (behaviour) affects the way we feel. CBT is one of the most effective treatments for depression, and has been found to be useful for a wide range of ages, including children, adolescents, adults and older people. .


CBT involves working with a professional (therapist) to identify thought and behaviour patterns that are either making you more likely to become depressed, or stopping you from getting better when you’re experiencing depression. I


It works to change your thoughts and behaviour by teaching you to think rationally about common difficulties, helping you to shift negative or unhelpful thought patterns and reactions to a more realistic, positive and problem-solving approach.


CBT is also well-suited to being delivered electronically (often called e-therapies)..


Behaviour therapy:-

While behaviour therapy is a major component of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), unlike CBT it doesn’t attempt to change beliefs and attitudes. Instead it focuses on encouraging activities that are rewarding, pleasant or satisfying, aiming to reverse the patterns of avoidance, withdrawal and inactivity that make depression worse.


E-Theraphies:-

e-therapies, also known as online therapies or computer-aided psychological therapy, can be just as effective as face-to-face services for people with mild to moderate anxiety. Most e-therapies follow the same principles as CBT or behaviour therapy, and the structured nature of these treatments means they’re well suited to being delivered online.


Most e-therapies teach you to identify and change patterns of thinking and behaviour that might be preventing you from overcoming your anxiety. You work through the program by yourself, and although e-therapies can be used with or without help from a professional, most involve some form of support from a therapist. This can be via telephone, email, text, or instant messaging, and helps you to successfully apply what you’re learning to your life..


Online programs have several advantages, including:

easy to access

can be done from home

can be of particular benefit for people in rural and remote areas

can be provided in many cases without having to visit a doctor.


Anxiety management strategies

There are a range of strategies you can try to manage your anxiety. What works is different for everyone, and it can take time to find the strategies that work best for you. But remember, if your anxiety is proving difficult to manage seek support from a professional.


10 strategies to try

1.Slow breathing. When you’re anxious, your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Try deliberately slowing down your breathing. Count to three as you breathe in slowly – then count to three as you breathe out slowly.


2.Progressive muscle relaxation. Find a quiet location. Close your eyes and slowly tense and then relax each of your muscle groups from your toes to your head. Hold the tension for three seconds and then release quickly. This can help reduce the feelings of muscle tension that often comes with anxiety.


3.Stay in the present moment. Anxiety can make your thoughts live in a terrible future that hasn’t happened yet. Try to bring yourself back to where you are. Practising meditation can help.


4.Healthy lifestyle. Keeping active, eating well, going out into nature, spending time with family and friends, reducing stress and doing the activities you enjoy are all effective in reducing anxiety and improving your wellbeing.


5.Take small acts of bravery. Avoiding what makes you anxious provides some relief in the short term, but can make you more anxious in the long term. Try approaching something that makes you anxious – even in a small way. The way through anxiety is by learning that what you fear isn’t likely to happen – and if it does, you’ll be able to cope with it.


6.Challenge your self-talk. How you think affects how you feel. Anxiety can make you overestimate the danger in a situation and underestimate your ability to handle it. Try to think of different interpretations to a situation that’s making you anxious, rather than jumping to the worst-case scenario. Look at the facts for and against your thought being true.


7.Plan worry time. It’s hard to stop worrying entirely so set aside some time to indulge your worries. Even 10 minutes each evening to write them down or go over them in your head can help stop your worries from taking over at other times.


8.Get to know your anxiety. Keep a diary of when it’s at it’s best – and worst. Find the patterns and plan your week – or day – to proactively manage your anxiety.


9.Learn from others. Talking with others who also experience anxiety – or are going through something similar – can help you feel less alone. Visit our Online Forums to connect with others.


10.Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are not your anxiety. You are not weak. You are not inferior. You have a mental health condition. It’s called anxiety.


Recovering from a Mental Health Condition?

Recovery can take time and is different for everyone. As well as getting treatment underway, you'll need to find new ways to manage and live with the changes and challenges of anxiety and/or depression.


While psychological and/or medical treatment can help with your recovery, there are many other ways you can help yourself to get better and stay well..


Stages of recovery:-

Recovery is a unique and individual process that everyone goes through differently. However, there are some common emotions that many people may experience.


1.Shock at having to deal with something difficult and scary that you have no prior experience of.


2.Denial or difficulty in accepting having a health problem, particularly one that many people find hard to understand.


3.Despair and anger at having to deal with the condition and its related difficulties.


4.Acceptance of having a condition and the changes it brings, and accepting how others see you and how you see yourself.


5.Coping by finding new ways to live with and tackle these changes and challenges.


6.Recovery goes beyond focusing on managing distressing symptoms but about having choices and being able to create a meaningful and contributing life.


Available Support:-

There are proven ways that people recover from anxiety or depression, and it’s different for everybody. However, there are a range of effective treatments and health professionals and other support people who can help you on the road to recovery. There are also many things you can do to help yourself to recover and stay well. The important thing is finding the right treatments and the right health professionals and support team that works for you.


Different types of anxiety or depression require different types of treatment. This may include lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity, healthy eating and adequate sleep, family and peer support, and psychological therapy for mild-moderate anxiety and depression, through to more specialised psychological and medical treatments for severe depression and/or anxiety provided by a team of health and mental health professionals.


What’s important is getting the treatment and support that’s right for your condition and situation.


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WE aRE pASSIONATE

We have a proven record of accomplishment and are a reputable company.

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wE aRE PASSIONATE

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