Image of woman with anxiety

Anxiety

Anxiety is thought to be the most common mental health condition in today’s society. It’s estimated that 12% of the adult population will experience anxiety throughout a given year – that’s 1 in every 8 adults.

 

Being an emotion like anger, joy, jealousy, and sadness just to name a few, we all experience anxiety from time to time. For some though, anxiety runs wild and becomes an uncomfortable and debilitating companion with severe limitations to life.

If you’re experiencing debilitating anxiety, know that it can be helped. In therapy, with a professional and experienced psychotherapist such as myself, together we can relieve your symptoms of anxiety.

What is anxiety? 

Anxiety is a natural response to something which feels dangerous. As such, it helps us react swiftly to escape or defend ourselves if we feel threatened. The trouble arises if we feel inappropriate anxiety in situations which may feel dangerous, but aren’t: e.g., everyday situations like shopping, calling a friend for a favour, asking someone out, or taking public transportation. The perceived danger is disproportional to the actual danger.

How does anxiety present? 

Anxiety exists on a spectrum from light nervousness to severe panic attacks. In the latter, sufferers often believe they are about to die. Often people describe anxiety as a paralysis of action causing severe disruptions to their quality of life; sometimes, it can even keep one from leading the life they wish to. Anxiety can be present constantly, in certain situations, in subtle manners or manifest itself as panic attacks hitting from nowhere with little or no warning.  

Anxiety in expats

For years, it’s been well-known that expats are more likely to suffer mental health issues; in fact, a study found up to 50% of all expats were at a higher risk of suffering from anxiety. With the recent pandemic and the Ukraine war, this is likely to have increased further.

Symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety can manifest itself both physically and psychologically. Often the physical symptoms are the most dominant, but it’s not unusual for thoughts and behaviour to be affected too. Examples of symptoms are:

  • Palpitations and shortness of breath

  • Nausea, dizziness, shivering

  • A prickling sense or a sharp sensation in the chest region; it’s not uncommon to mistake anxiety for a heart attack

  • Easily fatigued

  • Muscle tension

  • A general sense of feeling uneasy

  • An impending sense of danger

  • Being irritable and on edge, easily provoked, angry outbursts

  • Racing thoughts, constant worrying, excessive fears and catastrophising

  • Uncontrollable crying

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Insomnia

It’s not uncommon that various symptoms appear simultaneously; nor is it uncommon for symptoms to feed off and reinforce each other creating a vicious circle. 

What can you do to relieve anxiety?

If you feel anxiety keeps you from leading the life you would like to lead, it’s time to reach out for help. Therapy can help you regulate yourself in situations where you feel anxious, it can alleviate the symptoms as well as help you resolve the underlying issues.

Contact me today to hear how I can help you.