Anxiety is a common disorder in today’s society. There are many reasons for anxiety disorder some scientific and others suggestive. However, the important thing is that anxiety is a natural response in humans and animals. Anxiety signals fight or flight in all creatures and we would not survive without it.
So when a Counsellor looks at anxiety as a disorder, it usually is suggestive there is something wrong. Anxiety is a disorder when it is elevated and cripples us of moving through life. Some anxiety disorder symptoms can be classed under these headings; avoidant, excessive, persistent or anticipated.
Below are some scientific generalisations and terms of the varied Anxiety Disorders.
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Having anxious feelings over normal everyday activity and overthinking upcoming simple events such as driving in the rain, or going to work, or getting up in the morning, etc.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): Having uncomfortable feelings about going out or being in a social environment, and afraid of being embarrassing, offending someone or not being liked or accepted by others.
- Panic Disorder: A repeated panic attack causing intensive anxious feelings all brought on suddenly.
- Phobia Disorder: A heightened illogical fear in association to a particular animal, object or situation.
If these disorders are not managed with the assistance of a trained psychotherapist, the long-term side affects can result in poor quality of life and in response other psychological disorders can become present.
How does a psychotherapist assist in creating normalisation of anxiety?
Various techniques are used to address the over stimulated anxious responses. A Counsellor will work with a client through:
- Cognitive based therapy (CBT).
- Relaxation and Breathing Exercises in Mindfulness.
- Self-Monitoring (Observations and Reflections).
- Identifying Dysfunctional Thinking Patterns.
- Problem-Solving and Social Skill Learning.
- Behavioural Therapy.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
What is Anxiety?
Just like depression, the feelings of stress and worry which are the symptoms of anxiety do not go away once the stressful situation has passed. Anxious feelings from time to time are normal, and have also developed in human evolution to help make strategic decisions to stay out of harms way. The mental condition of Anxiety, however, means that the anxious feelings do not go away and it begins to impact your daily life.
What Causes Anxiety and Depression?
Anxiety and depression can be caused by a myriad of environmental factors paired with your personal predisposition to suffer from negative and anxious feelings. Prolonged stressors and substance abuse can both increase the impacts of these conditions and make treatment for difficult. Depression can be triggered by life events but can often manifest without a clear reason due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Lower than normal levels of neurotransmitters can lead to symptoms often associated with depression. Every anxiety disorder is highly personal to the individual, and your counsellor will ensure to take time to find the best strategies to match your personal case.
How to treat anxiety and depression?
Once you and your therapist have determined some of the underlying causes of anxiety or depression, and looked at trigger points, you will be able to proceed to work through the condition. There are extensive techniques and therapies to normalise the feelings including cognitive based therapy, relaxation and breathing exercises, psychoeducation, self-monitoring, identifying dysfunctional thinking patterns, problem solving and social skill learning, behavioural therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
Australia’s Commitment to helping
Australia is committed to helping identify, normalise, and help individuals who are suffering from anxiety. Why not check out the video made by Beyond Blue to show case the facts of this disorder.
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