Worry Worts (Anxiety)

Don’t let anxiety rule your life ” there is help available.

We all feel anxious from time to time. But sometimes that anxiety can become so severe that it interferes with your life.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common forms of mental illness, and affect nearly everyone at some stage. However, some people can experience more acute or long-term anxiety disorders.

There are many different types of anxiety disorder, including:

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
People with GAD suffer excessive and persistent worry and anxiety, combined with sleeplessness, muscle tension and irritability. It can be related to anything, from work or study to health or money, and can be very hard to control.

Panic disorder
A panic attack can be a horrible experience. It’s a sudden and unexplainable episode of intense fear. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, palpitations, trembling and an irrational fear of dying or going crazy. While many of us may experience a panic attack at some time, it’s when this occurs repeatedly that it can cause problems.

There are many different types of phobia, from agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) and claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces) to acrophobia (fear of heights), mysophobia (fear of dirt and germs) and social phobia (fear of scrutiny and negative evaluation in social situations). Phobias can cause excessive fear and anxiety when confronted by their fear, and can go to great lengths to avoid it.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
People with OCD are besieged by intrusive, unwanted, involuntary thoughts, images or impulses (obsessions). Common obsessions include fears of contamination and fears of harm to oneself or others. These obsessions can lead to compulsions, or behavioural and mental rituals, in an attempt to rid themselves of the unwanted thoughts. These can include excessive hand-washing, showering, checking or repeating rituals.

If you think you might need help for an anxiety disorder, speak to your doctor. Treatment for anxiety disorders usually involves cognitive behavioural therapy (learning how your thoughts affect your behaviour), anxiety management strategies, and sometimes medication.

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