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Anxiety is making so many peoples lives a misery..

Wed 15th Jun 2016

It seems to me that anxiety is becoming more prolific year by year.  A recent survey from Cambridge University says young people under the age of 35, women and those with mental health problems are most affected.  That does not mean that men, boys and people of all ages – from childhood to old age - are not affected by anxiety.  The university estimates that four out of every hundred people suffer with anxiety at some point in their lives.

In the past, depression has been given a great deal of attention but I feel that anxiety has been somewhat overlooked and should be brought more into the limelight, because it does affect so many people, making their lives miserable and hard to cope with.

So what is anxiety?  It affects people in a number of different ways. It can make you feel uneasy and nervous a great deal of the time and for some people, make going out into the world seem frightening and difficult.  You may feel on edge a lot of the time.  There might be physical symptoms as well, such a finding breathing difficult, getting butterflies in your stomach and sweating. 

These physical symptoms can also be the sign of an on-coming panic attack.  That is why it is important to try and address the roots and reasons of why you are feeling anxious before they start to get worse.  By addressing why you feel the way you do and facing your anxiety it should help to avoid suffering from panic attacks which can be really scary and debilitating.   


We all get anxious and a certain amount of anxiety is normal and actually good for us.  For example when we find ourselves in a dangerous situation, feeling anxious is the right way to feel.  We need to feel that anxiety as it will enable us to deal appropriately with the situation.  It can be described as flight or fight.  Our instincts and that natural feeling of anxiousness are telling us to get out of there!


But if your anxiety is starting to get in the way of leading a normal life, then I would suggest that it is time to think about finding some professional help.  If you are feeling out of control and scared, it is a sign to ask for help and advice.  You could start by going to see your GP or consider going to talk to a counsellor. 


By talking about your fears and anxiety it will help you understand why you feel the way you do, and a good counsellor can help you and suggest ideas and coping strategies for making your life better.  That might sound simplistic but talking really does help and talking to a professional in addition to or rather than friends and family will help you to see things more clearly.


There are many tell-tale signs which might mean you are suffering from anxiety such as: feeling uneasy and jumpy, finding it hard to breathe, being irritable a lot of the time, feeling trapped in certain situations and feeling you need to escape, physical feelings such as breathlessness, sweating, shaking, feeling dizzy, wanting to cry and feeling hopeless and lacking in confidence.  Some people find their memory suffers.  These are some examples of anxiety but by no means all – everyone experiences it in different ways – these symptoms are just some of the most common.


It seems to me that society as a whole and even some in the medical profession tend to overlook anxiety and don’t accord it the importance it deserves.  It can be a crippling affliction and it is good to know that there are professionals out there that can help.


I find the majority of my clients have anxiety in some form and it is often a big part of their reason for coming to counselling in the first place.  The important thing to know is that you can do something to stop your anxiety – the first step might be to pick up the phone and make a doctor’s appointment or to search out a counsellor to go and talk to.