What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of unease. Everybody experiences it when faced with a stressful situation, for example before an exam or an interview, or during a worrying time such as illness. It is normal to feel anxious when facing something difficult or dangerous, and mild anxiety can be a positive and useful experience. However, for one in ten people in the UK, anxiety interferes with normal life. Excessive anxiety is often associated with other psychiatric conditions, such as depression. Anxiety is considered abnormal when it happens in the absence of a stressful event, it interferes with everyday activities or it is very severe or prolonged.
Sometimes anxiety is associated with a physical illness, such a thyroid disorder. The physical symptoms of anxiety are caused by the brain sending messages to parts of the body to prepare for the "fight or flight" response. The heart, lungs and other parts of the body work faster. The brain also releases stress hormones, including adrenaline. Anxiety is often a symptom of another mental health problem, such as depression, personality disorder, alcohol misuse or withdrawal from long-term use of tranquillisers such as diazepam (Valium). The following symptoms can occur as a result:
Anxiety is the main symptom of several other mental illnesses. These are called anxiety disorders.
Acute stress reaction - acute means the symptoms develop quickly, minutes or hours after the stressful event. This type of reaction typically occurs after an unexpected life crisis such as bereavement. Sometimes symptoms occur before a forthcoming event, such as an important exam. This is called situational anxiety. Symptoms usually settle fairly quickly and no treatment may be needed.
Adjustment reaction - This is similar to acute stress reaction, but symptoms develop over days or weeks after a stressful situation, for example as a reaction to a divorce. Symptoms tend to improve over a few weeks or so.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - this may follow after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as a major accident or military combat. Anxiety is only one of the symptoms, which may come and go. The person may re-live their traumatic experience in dreams or flashbacks. It is normal to react with anxiety to a frightening experience - the term PTSD is only applied if symptoms persist. It may start years after the triggering event.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)-This consists of recurring obsessions or compulsions. Obsessions are recurring thoughts or images that cause feelings of disgust. Common obsessions include germs, dirt or violence. Compulsions are thoughts or actions that people feel they must do or repeat. A compulsion is usually a response to ease the anxiety of an obsession. Excessive handwashing to deal with an obsession about dirt, for example.
Panic disorder- This is characterised by panic attacks - a sudden sense of anxiety that occurs without warning and with no apparent trigger. The physical symptoms of anxiety can be very severe. Panic attacks usually last 5-10 minutes.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)- Anxiety can be a long-term disorder in which people feel worried most of the time about things that might go wrong. This is called generalised anxiety disorder.
How can hypnotherapy help?
It is impossible to be anxious, stressed and relaxed all at the same time Therefore the purpose of
hypnotherapy is to train you to relax your mind, helping you to release your
stress and anxiety. Naturally, the more you relax your mind the less chance anxiety issues will strike.
Hypnotherapy will also train you to learn new positive response patterns, so you can respond to situations in an appropriate way.
Book a hypnotherapy session for anxiety treatment:
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