What is … Anxiety?

Anxiety is an uncomfortable or unpleasant feeling. It can be described as a feeling of uneasiness, apprehension, worry, or fear. It can also have physical symptoms such as shaking, feeling like your heart is beating stronger or faster, sweating, tense or aching muscles, fidgeting, sleep issues, eating issues, rapid/shallow breathing, nausea and dizziness.

Anxiety is an emotional reaction in response to your body’s perception of a vague or unknown or perceived threat.

Anxiety is part of our primal human fright, flight or freeze response and releases adrenaline into our system to ready us to response to the ‘threat’ we perceive or sense. It is to keep us safe.

Sometimes our anxiety response is triggered by things in the modern world that don’t require the fright, flight or freeze response and we can find this is where anxiety becomes a problem for us as high levels of anxiety can prevent us from functioning in our normal way.

Psychologist’s hypothesis there may be many triggers such as genetics, environmental factors, brain chemistry, medical issues (side effects form illness or medication) or side effects from substance abuse.

There are several types of anxiety including social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorders, phobias, panic disorders.

The most common treatments are medications and talking therapies, used alone or in conjunction with each other. You’ve probably heard of SSRI’s which are a type of anti-anxiety medication that works on serotonin use (see previous blog post for more details). There are also drugs such as benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, pregabalin and propranolol. There are also talking therapies such as cognitive therapies like CBT, art therapy, person centered therapy, exposure therapy and psychoanalytical therapy.   There are holistic treatments such as mindfulness, meditation, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, yoga and acupuncture.

If you would like support with anxiety, or other mental health issues or you’d like video, telephone or face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds at laura@wrightminds.co.uk or on 07598810304