Tuesday 26 July 2022


Welcome to this Blog on anxiety. The Blogs listed below can be accessed using the Blog archive on the right of the screen.

1. When is anxiety a problem?

2. Types of anxiety

3. Anxiety symptoms

4. Panic attacks

5. Trauma

6. Health anxiety

7. Social anxiety 

8. Chronic worry

9. Phobias

10. OCD

When is anxiety a problem

Every one experiences anxiety from time to time because anxiety is our natural warning device which alerts us to potential dangers. 
 1. Although anxiety in itself is not an abnormal emotional reaction, anxiety can become become problematic when a person becomes frequently distressed by their anxiety reactions. 
2. Anxiety can also be problematic when a person experiences frequent high levels of anxiety which can create ongoing emotional, psychological or physical distress. 
3. Anxiety can also shrink a persons life by creating major restrictions, which prevent them from undertaking their everyday activities.

Types of anxiety

Some people develop problems with anxiety which result in chronic or persistent worries, other people experience anxiety in the form of panic attacks. For some people obsession or compulsions become a way of coping with high levels of anxiety, whilst other people develop anxiety difficulties concerning their health. Some people also develop problems with anxiety concerning interacting with people in social or work place situations. 

Some people also experience anxiety in the form of specific phobias about certain objects, activities, places, people or animals. It is also not uncommon to experience two or more different typeof anxiety together. For example, a person might experience a panic attack whilst engaging in a social situation, or experience panic when encountering a feared object. 

It is also important to mention that when people experience a traumatic event, the symptoms and problems associated with the trauma, are often similar to the problems connected to anxiety.

Anxiety symptoms

It is not uncommon to have psychological, emotional and physical reactions when experiencing high levels of anxiety. 

1. Psychological
Some people experience psychological reactions such as a racing mind, or their mind going blank, or feeling cut off from the world. 

2. Emotional 
Some people may feel a sense of dread or intense fear, or a sense of a looming catastrophe. 

3. Physical 
Some people also experience one or more of the following physical sensations:
  • Palpations or increased heart rate
  • Feeling like you are suffocating or unable to breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Feeling sick
  • Muscular tension
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Tightness in the throat
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Chest pain
  • Tingling in the body
  • Blurred vision 

Panic attacks

 What is a panic attack

  • A panic attack is when you experience a sudden unexpected increase of intense anxiety. 
  • During a panic attack the speed at which your anxiety levels increase, is like going from 0 to 80 miles an hour in a few seconds.

Why panic attacks are distressing

  • Panic attacks are very distressing because you can experience a range of disturbing psychological and physical sensations. 
  • During a panic attack you may feel afraid that you are going crazy or dying. 
  • Also during a panic attack you are likely to experience intense bodily sensations.

The following are typical symptoms which people report when they experience a panic attack. 

  • Heart palpations or racing heart
  • Feeling like you are suffocating 
  • Breathlessness 
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Choking
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feeling unreal or distant feelings
  • Hot of cold flushes
  • Nausea
  • A fear of dying or going crazy 

Some people also experience other symptoms. See the blog on anxiety symptoms. 

Monday 25 July 2022


What is trauma 

  • When people experience a trauma they often become distressed by memories, flashbacks or nightmares of a frightening event. 
  • Witnessing or being threatened by violent death, suffering a serious injury or rape, or experiencing a catastrophe such as a hurricane, accident, fire, flood or earth-quake or terrorist attack often lead to people developing traumatic response to these events.
  • Traumatic responses are often marked by a range of anxiety symptoms such as chronic worry, panic attacks, avoidance and feeling unreal as well as somatic symptoms such as fatigue, muscle tension, nausea, palpations or increased heart rate and physical pain. 

Why are the symptoms of trauma distressing

  • The symptoms of trauma are distressing because they often result in a person experiencing a series of debilitating symptoms which are often referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. 
  • A person with PTSD will frequently re-experience the traumatic event, and this may lead to them being on consent alert in case something dangerous happens. 
  • A person with PTSD may also avoid experience negative thoughts or mood changes, and feel numb to the world or estranged from other people. 

Health anxiety

 What is health anxiety 

  • People with health anxiety often become overly preoccupied with their bodily signs, symptoms and physical changes.
  • People with health anxiety develop fears that they have a serious illness or disease, or that they are developing a serious illness or disease.

Why is health anxiety distressing

  • Health anxiety is distressing because people often seek out multiple medical assessments or clinical investigations.
  • Health anxiety is distressing because when people seek out multiple consultations, these do not alleviate their fears and beliefs that they have a medical problem or a serious health issue.