Open Change offers support and counselling for people who suffer from anxiety . Our services are offered over the phone or online via Skype counselling. If you think you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, contact us today or explore the information below.

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What is an Anxiety disorder?

When seeking help to understand and recover from anxiety, often defined as an anxiety disorder, it is important to first understand how stress impacts your mind and body. For example, if you are walking the in nature and were to spot a bear, it would immediately trigger a stress response in your body. The stress response involves your nervous system which will become aroused and generate physical symptoms of anxiety such as a racing heart beat, a surge of adrenaline and heightened senses. This is often called ‘fight or flight’ and puts your mind and body on ‘high alert’ so you can respond appropriately by running away, defending yourself, or freezing to avoid detection.

This is a completely normal response and clearly very useful to help you avoid or remove yourself from danger. Once the danger has passed, your nervous system will calm down and you will relax.

Anxiety works in exactly the same way as stress, however, often it occurs in response to perceived threats that may never occur, worrying thoughts about the past or future, or to everyday events that a non-sufferer would not react to or worry about.

Read more about anxiety signs and symptoms.

Most people will experience some level of anxiety in their lifetime, however, when it persists on an ongoing basis and starts to influence and impact a persons daily life it can be extremely unpleasant and cause some level of suffering. This is often what people mean when they use the label anxiety disorder.

Anxiety & Panic attacks

Anxiety or panic attacks are effectively shorter, sharper burst of anxiety whereby a highly sensitised nervous system floods the body with adrenaline and more severe physical symptoms as though it was responding to an immediate danger. This mimics the flight or fight response your body would generate should you be chased by a bear or other dangerous animal.

An anxiety or panic attack can therefore be an extremely intense and scary experience as the flood of adrenaline tricks the sufferer to believing they are in immediate danger. This is why those who suffer from panic attacks often express a fear of dying, even though no immediate danger exists.

Read more about Panic Disorder & Panic Attacks

Anxiety can be a very frustrating problem, as most people who suffer from it, are aware that their fears or worries aren’t always rational, however, they still struggle to stop the rumination and in turn the physical anxiety symptoms. In truth, anxiety is extremely common and with the right help, it can be overcome completely.

Open Change Counselling help for anxiety
How do I cope with and treat anxiety?

When seeking help to cope with, manage and treat anxiety and anxiety disorders I recommend several things:

  • Gain understanding – many people with anxiety are bewildered by the condition from which they suffer and never get a true understanding of it. The more you understand anxiety and how it impacts your mind and body, the better equipped you will be to manage your anxiety and recover from it.
  • Physical symptoms – for many people the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heart beat, shortness of breath, tension headaches and frequent use of toilet (to name just a few) can be the most difficult to cope with. Getting help to manage and treat these symptoms when they come on can significantly help your ability to cope with anxiety.
  • Talk to someone – this might be to a counsellor, doctor or psychologist, or even a trusted friend, however, the more you discuss anxiety it can help take away some of the pressure and increase the support you have around you. Of course, I recommend talking to someone who will listen without judgement and who you can speak to on a regular basis.
If you are currently experiencing anxiety and would like some additional support, feel free to contact me or complete an enquiry form for a complimentary and confidential discussion about how counselling could help you.