Are you having trouble coping with day to day activities?
Are you feeling controlled by anxiety and panic?
If you feel like you are merely scraping by each day, barely holding it together, hanging on by your fingernails, then let’s talk about what’s happening for you and what we can do to get you some relief from the anxiety and panic ruining your life.
Signs and symptoms of anxiety and panic
Persistent and unwavering feelings of stress and worry that seem to have no cause… that are hanging around long after the initial cause has passed… feelings that are overwhelming, all-consuming and difficult to control… these can be signs someone is experiencing anxiety.
Sudden onset of acute feelings of anxiety that leave you feeling afraid… accompanied by physical symptoms such crying, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, trembling and nauseous… this can indicate a panic attack.
Causes of anxiety and panic
Reasons for experiencing anxiety are unique to every individual and there are many different causes, including:
- experiencing stressful life events,
- personality traits and family history,
- health issues, or
- substance use.
Types of anxiety
There are many different forms of anxiety, such as:
- General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – feeling anxious most of the time, worrying about many different things, with symptoms persisting for long periods of time;
- Panic Disorder – recurring panic attacks are a type of anxiety disorder, panic attacks are intense, overwhelming and uncontrollable episodes of anxiety accompanied by physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, nausea, trembling, shallow breathing and fear;
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) – occurs after experiencing a distressing or traumatic event, symptoms include feeling frightened or helpless, suffering nightmares, and difficulty participating in everyday life;
- Social phobias – extreme fear of criticism or being embarrassed in everyday situations such as making conversation, eating in front of others, or speaking up at work;
- Phobias – feeling acutely fearful about a specific situation or thing and doing anything to avoid being confronted with these.
For more information about types of anxiety, symptoms, and treatment options, visit: www.beyondblue.org.au/anxiety
Effects of anxiety and panic
If left untreated the symptoms of anxiety and panic can be incredibly intrusive in every aspect of your life. It can affect your work, relationships, and health, and see you withdrawing from life, avoiding people and situations. This can leave you feeling utterly miserable and with no quality of life.
Sadly, the experience of anxiety and panic is more common than you might think. While symptoms will vary from person to person, as many as 1 in 4 people experience anxiety, and up to 35% of people will suffer an episode of panic [source: betterhealth and beyondblue] .
While these numbers may be disheartening, let’s take some solace in the fact that this means you are not alone. And it also means there is a great deal of support available out there to help you manage and overcome the symptoms of anxiety and panic.
There are a variety of different treatment options available to help you reduce the effects of anxiety and panic. So let’s explore where you can start.
3 quick tips to find relief from the symptoms of anxiety and panic
- Take some slow, deep breaths – visualise breathing in positive, white breath, and exhaling negative black breath – focus on how each breath feels cool as it enters your body, filling your lungs, and warm as it exits, emptying your chest or stomach. This will help to counteract the physical stress response your body has initiated. If you are experiencing panic, distract yourself until the episode passes by focusing on something outside of your body in your immediate environment – notice every small detail like colour, shape, size, movement, and sound. Reassure yourself you will get through this moment, as you have before, that nothing serious is going to happen to you.
- Seek medical advice from you doctor. It is important to check with you doctor that your symptoms are not being caused by any other health issues, and to have your anxiety or panic properly diagnosed, with medication prescribed if necessary.
- For longer term management and solutions, it is best to work with a therapist – a counsellor or psychologist. Spending time with a qualified professional can help you to learn stress management and relaxation techniques, increase your problem-solving skills, and explore potential lifestyle or behaviour adjustments to support your recovery.
Do you need a friendly ear to help you process your thoughts?
If you need practical support to get you through a difficult situation or to help you navigate life’s bumpy roads, get in touch for a FREE 20-minute consultation to talk about your needs. You can book your free ‘Welcome’ consultation with me at a time that suits you, simply drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you ♥
I am a qualified Social Worker with over a decade of experience helping individuals to successfully transition through life changes, overcome obstacles, and increase self-determination. Get your FREE eBook: 5 Steps to Bring Your Confidence out of Hibernation, by clicking the button below.
Or, if you would like to read further about how I can help, check out my service page on anxiety and depression here.