When to start Anxiety Counselling
It seems that these days everyone is talking about anxiety and mental health, and this is in no way a bad thing. There is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health and shining a light on it helps to reduce the number of people who are afraid to step forward and seek support and guidance. Only 25% of people in need actually get help from a professional. Saying this, it can be very hard to know if the worries that you have of socialising with new people, or your heart racing when you are walking down the street, is just everyday stress or if it is in fact anxiety.
Anxiety, is it normal?
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year, and anxiety-related conditions are very common. Anxiety is your body’s normal response to danger or stress. It is often referred to as the fight or flight response which is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either face a threat or flee to safety. The problems arise when this response is generated when there is no danger present, or when the response is out of proportion to the danger of the situation. The fight or flight situation is, of course, great when there is a real threat of danger, as it shows your brain is keeping you alive, and fear along with anxiety plays a big role in that. However, alarm bells are rung when the stress response is used in a situation in which it shouldn’t arise, so you are feeling how you would in a dangerous situation, but there is, in fact, no danger there. A little anxiety can be helpful, for example, if you were trying to meet a deadline at work and you felt stressed, this would provide you with the motivation to complete it on time. Or if you were about to perform in an acting performance, your anxiety would fill you with adrenaline which would allow you to perform well. Stress can help you to perform at your best and keep you focused so you can meet your targets. However, when you are living in a continuous heightened state of stress and anxiety, this is when it will start to take control of your mind.
Signs of Anxiety
There are many different symptoms and signs that you suffer from anxiety. Some people may only suffer from one or two, while others will suffer from many more. Psychological symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, feeling a sense of dread or being constantly on edge, your concentration levels may decrease, and you could find yourself getting irritated easily. The everyday tasks that you used to find natural can become harder to face, such as seeing your friends and family. You may have withdrawn from social contact as you don’t want to leave the house. You might also be finding work more challenging, and you could get easily stressed, which may lead to you taking time off or phoning into work with an alternative excuse to ‘your anxiety’.
Not only are there psychological symptoms, but there are also physical side effects of an anxiety disorder. These can include tiredness, dizziness, an irregular heartbeat, panic attacks, and feeling sick. There can be many different things that trigger your anxiety, for example, if you have a specific fear or a phobia, or you have experienced a traumatic event. For instance, if you have Enochlophobia, you will have a fear of crowded spaces, and this can set off your anxiety. However, the problem grows when you are not sure what triggers your anxiety, or your anxiety is starting to negatively affect your life.
The intensity and frequency of your anxiety attacks may make you feel hopeless and that there is no way to prevent them. However, speaking to a professional can help you to identify and come to terms with what is causing your anxiety and help you to find ways to control your symptoms. Seeing a counsellor can help you to discover the things that are affecting you which you may not have even considered before.
Do I need to talk to someone?
You may be thinking that your problems are not significant, or you know other people that have worse symptoms than you, so you’ve decided to stay quiet. However, self-care should be your number one priority, and anxiety is not like a cold, it won’t go away over time. Struggling with anxiety can affect not only your life but others around you. If you are feeling a state of heightened anxiety, you can say things that you don’t mean because you are not thinking straight or affect the friendships that you have as you may not want to leave the house. It can also play a role in your marriage or relationship, as you can push people away who are trying to help you. If your anxiety is clouding your vision completely and causing you to act in ways in which you never normally would, it is time to speak up about how you are feeling and look for someone who will be able to help you.
How can a Counsellor help me?
Do you feel like you are constantly in a bad mood, or that you are doing the same things over and over and always getting the same negative result, or do you just feel unhappy with your life? All of these are signs that you should consider speaking to a professional. Everyone knows that some people can be more emotional than others, however, if you find that you are struggling to control your emotions, such as continually crying or struggling to manage your anger when you are upset, speaking to a professional can help you to regain control over your feelings.
Many people that try to treat their anxiety alone struggle and develop unhealthy additions. Drinking a glass of wine, or a pint of beer may help you to wind down but reaching out to alcohol every night and feeling the need to drink is not good for you. This shows that you may need a little help finding the right coping skills so you can find a more suitable outlet.
Panic and anxiety attacks are more common than you may think and advising you to see a therapist if you are experiencing these may be pointing out the obvious, but these symptoms are ignored by many. If you suffer from panic attacks, this should be your motivation to look for extra help to save your physical health. Don’t feel embarrassed or shake it off, this is your body’s cry for help, and you can help it by speaking to a professional.
No matter how big or small you think your problem is, there is help out there for you! Don’t avoid your problems for any longer, and address the elephant in the room (it’s only going to grow bigger), speak to me today and see how I can help you to turn your life around.