What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting for an exam or having a medical test or job interview.

Most people feel anxious or scared sometimes, but if it’s affecting your life there are things you can try that may help.

Support is also available if you’re finding it hard to cope with anxiety, fear or panic.

Common Questions about Anxiety

Are there different types of anxiety?

Anxiety can be considered a broad term and covers a range of underlying issues. These can include

  • GAD or Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Separation anxiety
  • OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Panic attacks

If you are experiencing symptoms your therapist can help you learn more about it and guide you towards an approach to help.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can result in both mental and physical symptoms including

  • feeling worried or persistent feelings of dread
  • impatience
  • feeling restless
  • difficulty in concentration
  • trouble sleeping
  • dizzy spells
  • heart palpitations
  • being easily fatigued
  • irritability and anger
  • muscle and stomach aches
  • unexplained pains
  • increased blood pressure

When should I get help for anxiety?

Feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal.

If you find that it is affecting your daily life or causing you more stress than seems normal, then please get in touch with your GP. Your GP may diagnose you as having generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). Your GP may also refer you to a therapist who can help you deal with the symptoms.

Where can I find an Anxiety Therapist?

We have created a list of therapists that specialise in anxiety.

At the Centre for Therapy simply search for ‘Anxiety’ and you will find all the therapists listed on our website that can counsel you for Anxiety.

What causes Anxiety?

In terms of GAD, it is not fully understood what causes it.

There are several factors that can combine to create anxiety and these include:

  • Overactivity in the brain in the areas that deal with emotions and behaviour
  • Imbalances in the chemicals in the brain that regulate and control mood – serotonin and noradrenaline.
  • having a history of traumatic or stressful experiences, such as domestic violence, child abuse or bullying
  • having other long-term painful health conditions (e.g. Fibromyalgia or Rheumatoid Arthritis)
  • the genes that you have inherited – you are more likely to develop generalised anxiety disorder if you have a close relative that also has the condition
  • having a history of alcohol or drug misuse

It should be noted that many people have developed generalised anxiety disorder for no know reasons.

Who does anxiety affect?

It is estimated that anxiety affects up to 5% of the population or 1 in 20 people.

Slightly more women are affected than men and the condition is more common in people from the ages of 35 to 59.

How do I get a diagnosis for anxiety?

The first place to start to get a diagnosis for anxiety is to call your GP.

How is anxiety treated?

There are a variety of ways that Anxiety can be treated

The best first step is to speak with your GP.

Treatments can include:-

  • Psychological Therapies (e.g. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy CBT)
  • Guided self-help. This may involve working through a CBT-based course in your own time on a computer and maybe with the support of a therapist
  • Group courses – you and other people with similar issues work through your anxiety together
  • Applied relaxation
  • Medication

Other blog posts about Anxiety

Can I still be a leader if I have anxiety?

Six things to do if you wake up feeling anxious