Anxiety

We all feel anxious from time to time – it could be about a special upcoming event, an exam or a first date. A moderate level of anxiety is a normal part of life and contributes to keeping us safe by avoiding danger, as well as keeping us motivated and performing at our best. However, if your anxiety feels overwhelming at times and is interfering with important aspect of your life, such as your relationships and the way you socialise with people, or it is stopping you from attaining your goals and reaching your potential, then you may be experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Untreated anxiety can undermine your confidence and leave you feeling depressed and that your life is out of control. The good news is that anxiety is a treatable condition and talking with a counsellor can be the first step in helping you to recover your self-esteem and confidence as you learn new coping skills.

What Are The Causes of Anxiety?

 

Some causes of anxiety disorder might be:

 

  • Genetics or a history of anxiety within your family.

  • Biochemical - an imbalance of the chemicals in the brain that regulate feelings and physical reactions can alter your thoughts, emotions or behaviour, and result in anxiety.

  • A stressful event or chain of events, such as a family break-up, abuse, ongoing bullying at school, sexual abuse, a death, a relationship break up or family conflict.

  • Personality style - Certain personality types are more at risk of anxiety than others.

 

Some common ways that anxiety might affect your mental health (behaviour and feelings) include:

 

  • irritability or constantly being in a bad mood

  • worried or a constant feeling that something bad is about to happen

  • you may find yourself asking many unnecessary questions and require constant reassurance

  • getting upset when a mistake is made or when your normal routine is changed

  • being a perfectionist, taking a long time to complete tasks because you try to have it absolutely correct

  • being pessimistic and easily able to identify what may go wrong in any given situation

 

Some common ways that anxiety might affect your physical health include:

 

  • dry mouth and/or difficulty swallowing

  • nightmares

  • difficulty getting to and staying asleep

  • difficulty concentrating

  • muscle tension and headaches

  • rapid heart rate and breathing sweating

  • trembling

  • diarrhoea

  • flare-up of another health problem or illness (e.g. dermatitis, asthma)

  • sexual problems, such as not having any sexual feelings or being oversexed.

 

Some Things You Can Do To Decrease Your Anxiety

 

Changing your lifestyle

 

There are many things that you can do to decrease anxiety in your life. Look at the things that are causing you stress and, if possible, change your lifestyle to avoid or confront those things.

 

Diet + Exercise

 

When people feel anxious they often neglect themselves. Ensuring that you are eating healthy foods and eating regular meals, as well as getting regular exercise, will improve your overall health and feeling of wellbeing. It is now well known that exercise contributes to lifting our spirits and putting us in a better mood by releasing endorphins and changing the chemistry in our brain.

 

Relaxation

 

There are many things you can do to help you relax. Some ideas may be going for a walk, doing a class like yoga or Tai Chi, learning to meditate or playing footy with a friend.

 

Talking

 

Bottling things up is likely to keep your anxiety levels high. By talking to a counsellor about the things that are making you feel anxious, you will be able to put things in perspective, learn new skills to help alleviate your anxiety, and formulate ideas for making lasting positive changes to bring more harmony into your life. Often it can be hard for us to see our stressors clearly. Speaking to somebody who is on neutral ground, can help you identify patterns that are causing you stress.

 

Depression

In today’s society depression has become a common psychological difficulty and has many pervasive implications for mental health. The experience of depression can vary widely from person to person in its severity and the effect it has on a person’s life. Having depression is not just feeling down for a day or two, it’s when the symptoms go on for two weeks or longer.

 

Depression is a “whole-body” illness, involving your body, mood and thoughts. It can effect the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself and the way you think about things. It can often hit when our resources are low, or our immune system is weakened.

 

Some people may experience feelings of sadness or may lack energy, enthusiasm or motivation and lose their interest and enjoyment in their activities. However, depression can be much more severe and can bring feelings of hopelessness, pessimism or despair. It can also be associated with feelings of guilt and not being good enough.

Depression is much more than just feeling upset or sad. It is a serious illness that leaves you feeling down most of the time and finding it hard to cope from day to day.

 

What Causes Depression?

 

A period of depression is usually triggered by difficult life events or it can occur during a period of stress when our defenses are down. There are times when it can occur out of the blue and we can be baffled by its onset. Or it might creep up on us over a period of time.

 

Some of the negative experiences that may increase your chance of getting depression could be:

 

  • Being abused or bullied

  • Feeling that you are doing badly at work or school

  • Having bad experiences with your family (especially when you were young)

  • Family history of mental illness

  • Parents having depression or another mental illness

  • Family arguments, separation or divorce

  • Poor self esteem

  • Not getting on with friends and family

  • Not coping

  • Being stressed

  • Not having people to talk to

  • Being in debt

  • Putting yourself down

  • Feeling lonely

 

Whatever form it takes, depression can have significant effects on mental health and wellbeing, relationships, work, and physical health. Because it has become such a common condition a great deal of research has gone into developing effective treatments and therapies for depression.

 

Psychological therapies that have been found to be effective for depression include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness-based therapies such as Acceptance & Commitment Therapy.

 

Effective treatment of depression equips you with psychological skills and practices that promote lasting resilience to depression and long term mental health and wellbeing.

 

Other practices that can help to alleviate depression include regular exercise, a healthy diet and meditation. In an environment where you will not be judged and treated with respect, you will be able to develop positive new ways of thinking and behaving that will help you build mental resilience to depression for the long term.

 

If your are struggling with anxiety or depression

call June for an appointment today on

0431 483 0170431 483 017

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Mornington  Vic   3931
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