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Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress

What are Anxiety Disorders?

An anxiety disorder is a medical condition characterised by persistent, excessive worry.
Anxiety disorders can take a number of forms. Common to all of these is an anxiety so distressing, it can interfere with a person's ability to carry out or take pleasure in day-to-day life.
A person may experience more than one anxiety disorder. Some people may also experience depression with the anxiety, or have problems with alcohol or drug abuse.

What are the symptoms?

A person with an anxiety disorder will feel distressed a lot of the time for no apparent reason. An episode can be so severe it is immobilising. The person might have;

  • persistent, excessive or unrealistic worries (generalised anxiety disorder)
  • compulsions and obsessions which they can't control (obsessive compulsive disorder)
  • intense excessive worry about social situations (social anxiety disorder)
  • panic attacks (panic disorder)
  • an intense, irrational fear of everyday objects and situations (phobia)

Other symptoms of anxiety disorders may include a pounding heart; difficulty breathing; upset stomach; muscle tension; sweating or choking; feeling faint or shaky.

What causes Anxiety Disorders?

The causes are not fully understood. It is likely that a particular anxiety disorder is a result of several interacting factors and is affected by stressful life events and personality traits.

How many people develop Anxiety Disorders?

Every year, around 14% of all adult Australians are affected by an anxiety disorder. Women are affected more than men.

How is anxiety treated?

Treatment can help people manage, reduce or even eliminate the symptoms associated with anxiety disorders. Diagnosis is generally made by a GP. Treatment can be provided by the doctor, or they may give a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist or other suitably-qualified health professional. Psychological therapy is an effective treatment for most people affected by anxiety disorders. Medication may also be helpful for a while. With the appropriate treatment and support, most people can learn to deal with their symptoms and get on with their lives again.

Source: Sane Australia www.sane.org

What are the different types of Anxiety Disorders?

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder - excessive worry regarding  a wide range issues
  • Panic Disorder - sudden intense periods  of terror, with or without a specific trigger
  • Agoraphobia - intense fear of open spaces or leaving the home
  • Social Anxiety Disorder - excessive worry about negative appraisals from others
  • Specific Phobias - excessive fear of specific objects
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - intrusive and unwanted thoughts that cause anxiety and lead to rituals or routine behaviours that temporarily alleviate anxiety
  • Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder - anxiety symptoms induced by ingestion of drugs or alcohol
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder- Anxiety symptoms that occur in response to a traumatic event
  • Acute stress disorder- Acute anxiety symptoms that occur in response to a traumatic event

Treating Anxiety at Sovereignty Counselling

Your clinician at Sovereignty counselling will conduct a thorough assessment and listen to your specific concerns to determine the type and severity of your anxiety and consider the possible causes of your symptoms. We will then seek to match your specific situation and symptoms with the most effective intervention and determine an individualised treatment plan.  We can help you to develop skills to gain control of your symptoms so that anxiety no longer dominates your life.

Based on your assessment and treatment plan, your clinician may offer you one or more of the following scientifically verified interventions:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
  • Mindfulness and relaxation therapy
  • Solution-Focused Therapy
  • Couples Counselling
  • Skills Training
  • Drug and Alcohol Counselling

To find out more or to seek treatment for anxiety, please contact us.