Anxiety Counselling

Forms of Anxiety

anxiety counselling @ auckland therapy : counselling & psychotherapyAnxiety can take many different forms with physical, mental and emotional aspects. These forms are referred to as anxiety disorders. Below are some links to further information on some common types of anxiety :

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) - the most common sort of anxiety disorder - see below
  • Social anxiety - fear of social situations
  • Anxiety attacks - panic, racing heart, sweating, trembling, dizziness, etc.
  • OCD - Obsessions & compulsions, (hand washing, hoarding, double checking, etc)
  • PTSD - Post traumatic stress disorder - persistent symptoms following trauma
  • Specific phobias - such as spiders or flying
  • Agoraphobia - fear of public or unfamiliar places
  • Dissociation - feeling unreal, spaced-out, mentally blank or numb - usually associated with one of the other disorders

Symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety may build up over many years or occur quite suddenly. Symptoms can be present in various ways, often unrecognised or masked by normal ways of coping. Symptoms include:

  • Stress, worry, fear, or even dread
  • Difficulty relaxing or winding down
  • Sleep disturbance, headaches, indigestion, sexual problems
  • Frustration, restlessness, impatience, neediness or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating or mentally blank
  • Nightmares, disturbing memories or flashbacks
  • Racing mind, random scary thoughts

Causes of anxiety

  • Stress : Significant life stressors often cause anxiety. Common stressors include relationship problems, bereavement, relocations, health, work or financial pressures, and family problems. While a certain amount of stress in our lives is inevitable, continual stress is bad for health. Stress is also likely to impact on relationships in the form of irritability, withdrawal or neediness. Unaddressed stress can lead to increasing anxiety problems and even trigger panic attacks or agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house).
  • Trauma : Traumatic events to oneself or a loved one often trigger anxiety. It is normal to be anxious after a traumatic event. Examples include physical injury from a car crash, work accident or natural disaster. A recent event can also retrigger trauma from long ago. For some people the anxiety does not pass with time. This is PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).The body and mind continue to react as if the traumatic event is ongoing even if the danger is not longer present.
  • Depression : Anxiety is often co-present with some level of depression. The fear feelings of the anxiety plus the sad feelings of depression can reinforce each other and become quite overwhelming, distressing and lonely.
  • Drugs & alcohol : Anxiety sufferers often turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping. As this 'solution' temporally masks the anxiety, it may seem helpful. However in the long term it will worsen things and put you at risk of dependence or addiction.

Anxiety treatment

Therapy can help in many ways including:

  • Professional assessment and diagnosis
  • Explore stress patterns and triggers
  • Learn healthy coping strategies, tools and techniques
  • Understand the underlying causes of anxiety
  • Feel heard, understood & supported
  • Recover resilience, confidence & self-esteem