Thursday 26 July 2012

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a normal, if unpleasant, part of life, and it can affect us all in different ways and at different times. Whereas stress is something that will come and go as the external factor causing it (be it a work, relationship or money problems, etc.) comes and goes, anxiety is something that can persist whether or not the cause is clear to the sufferer.

It is important to recognise that anxiety is normal and exists due to the preconditioned bodily responses from early human existence.  It was useful at a time when human survival dependent on our instincts to remain alert and react to a perceived threats and therefore helped to keep us safe. This internal alarm system helped by keeping us hyper-alert, raising the levels of adrenaline and heart rate releasing extra oxygen into the system so that we were able to respond to a threat by fighting or running away.

There are many reasons why people today suffer from anxiety. Some of those reasons are more identifiable than others, for instance, due to a traumatic incident or as a result a significant change in circumstances or a life event, such as getting divorced, bereavement and so on.

Sometimes the reasons for anxiety are not immediately obvious and can be a result of a build-up of stress over a period of time, until one day the amount of stress exceeds individual ability to cope with it.

We can think in terms of three different types of anxiety disorder:

Reactive anxiety
Related to some particular incident; the fear of another such incident can be overwhelming.

Conditioned anxiety
The suffered continues to be triggered by old fears to an extend that day-to-day behaviour is impaired. The person may be experiencing forgetfulness, insomnia or other similar intrusions into everyday life.

Free-floating anxiety
There seems to be no obvious reason for anxiety and this makes ithis very ifficult to cope with. There is nothing to hang it on and therefore no apparent starting point for reducing the impact.

All types of anxiety disorders can be disruptive to the daily activities, often very significantly. They cause sleep disturbances,  inability to perform well at workplace, loss of ability to temper anger and also loss of the ability to understand the source of anger, difficulty concentrating because of concentrating on the anxiety instead, and a greatly reduced sense of self-worth.

Symptoms of anxiety
People often experience physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms when they feel anxious or stressed.
Some of the most common physical symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased muscle tension
  • “Jelly legs”
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Hyperventilation (over breathing)
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wanting to use the toilet more often
  • Feeling sick
  • Tight band across the chest area
  • Tension headaches
  • Hot flushes
  • Increased perspiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking
  • Choking sensations
  • Palpitations
Some of the most common psychological symptoms (the thoughts or altered perceptions we have) of anxiety are:
  • Thinking that you may lose control and/or go “mad”
  • Thinking that you might die
  • Thinking that you may have a heart attack/be sick/faint/have a brain tumour
  • Feeling that people are looking at you and observing your anxiety
  • Feeling as though things are speeding up/slowing down
  • Feeling detached from your environment and the people in it
  • Feeling like wanting to run away/escape from the situation
  • Feeling on edge and alert to everything around you
  • Avoidance of any situations potential provoking anxiety.
How can Hypnotherapy , EFT and EMT help you?

Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques and Eye Movement Therapies are an effective way to help to manage anxiety disorders by;
  • Reducing stress by relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques
  • Helping to let go of anxious thoughts
  • Helping to address the causes of anxiety.
  • Understanding when the symptoms started and dealing with  the contributing issues
  • Rebuilding confidence and self-esteem

As with any medical condition you should always see your GP first to discuss your symptoms and treatment options first and to rule out any potential underlying causes of your symptoms.