People may falsely assume that because anxiety is a psychological condition, the symptoms are “just in your head”, less important or imagined. This is not the case; the symptoms of anxiety are real and always significant in your life.
In challenging situations we will all get anxious, a completely natural even protective response. If there’s a deadline, money worries or a sick loved one, we may become stressed and overwhelmed. If witnessing a disturbing event or news item, or hearing a story involving loss, violence or catastrophe, we may react with horror, distress or dismay. And yet we may be able to continue our lives, by coping with distraction and reflection, and by ‘putting it out of mind’.
However some people may experience the same event, and suffer more with overwhelming distress and worry. The observed event may be felt more personally. Panic may intrude into feelings, sleep can be disrupted, and distress felt physically, variably lasting days, weeks and longer.
Coping with anxiety is a personal response to life stressors and there are many approaches we try to overcome these challenges. At Re-centre we recognise everyone always does their best to cope with the challenges in life.
But if anxiety intensifies and changes our view of the world, relationships and behaviours, even as a “normalised” experience of coping, it may indicate the onset of an anxiety disorder.
What causes anxiety?
Anxiety is a uniquely personal experience, reflecting our experiences throughout life. So, it is essential to understand your experience of anxiety, in a safe and trusting exploration with an experienced therapist.
Our specialists will clarify these many anxiety experiences felt in body and brain, mind and environment.
Each person’s story, their physical health, family tree and culture, their dreams and personality: all these things are important in understanding anxiety.
What are symptoms and signs of anxiety?
Symptoms and signs of anxiety are:
- being overwhelmed, wanting to escape
- irritability and anger
- panic, inability to relax
- edginess, restlessness or readiness to startle
- upset stomach, muscle tension, throat and neck tightness, breathing difficulty
- struggling to concentrate or focus
- concern over money, health, family members or work, despite the evidence
- constant worries over everything, even worry about worrying
- preoccupation with personal issues
- justice, preoccupation with world issues like climate emergency, animal welfare etc.
- depressive thoughts of the future
- difficulty concentrating or focusing
With significant impacts on
- energy levels
- weight change
- disturbed sleep
- work and pleasurable activities
The New Zealand Mental Health Foundation website gives up-to-date information on anxiety and other psychological matters. Read more about anxiety here.