Anxiety is an expression of discomfort which leads to increased nervousness, fear, apprehension and worrying.
These feelings affect how we feel, behave and how we tackle life’s challenges and can manifest into real physical and social disorders. Anxiety has a wide range of expressions from being vague and unsettling to severe debilitation seriously effecting daily functioning and well-being.
We all have varying levels of sensitivity and coping skills, and anxiety effects individuals in very different forms so should not be seen as a weakness or behavioural dysfunction.
The most common and more severe expressions of anxiety are:
- phobias – an irrational fear and avoidance of an object, person or situation
- panic attacks – anxiety expressed by brief or sudden attacks of intense terror and apprehension that leads to shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea and difficulty breathing
- social anxiety disorder – a type of social phobia expressed by a fear of being negatively judged by others or a fear of public embarrassment due to impulsive actions
- separation anxiety disorder – is expressed by high levels of anxiety when separated from a person or place that provides feelings of security or safety.
By implementing effective CBT and strategies such as a hierarchy of exposure, we can gradually decrease the uncomfortable feelings by showing the negative thoughts are unfounded and irrational. This is all done with the utmost care and consideration for the client’s ability and timeframe to challenge the anxiety.
For more information about anxiety, we recommend the following link: