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Understanding Anxiety

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is normal but sometimes it can get in the way of enjoying life.

  • Have you ever had feelings of worry and stress that get in the way or wont go away?
  • Do you ever you feel that things are spiralling out of control and getting on top of you?
  • Do you ever feel like you are making excuses and avoiding situations and places?

Don’t panic…

Around 1 in 6 young people will experience anxiety problems at some point.

Unless we deal with anxiety in more positive ways it will impact upon our day to day living and quality of life.

Help is available

Experiencing Anxiety

There are different types of anxiety:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD): makes doing everyday things difficult.
  • Health anxiety- constantly worried about ones health
  • Panic attacks: These are events that can cause one or all of the following; rapid breathing, a racing heart, feeling sick, sweaty, panicky and feeling like you need to get out of the situation. These attacks are unpredictable and may last for seconds or minutes.
  • Phobias: feeling fearful about one or more things in particular. The thing that you might be most anxious about may not be dangerous or troublesome to anyone else but can make you feel really nervous, panicky or scared.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

What anxiety can mean

The anxiety can affect your body physically, can give you negative thoughts and affect your behaviour.

Each of these can have an impact on the other.

Negative thoughts/sensations:

  • I must be in danger
  • They will all laugh at me
  • I am going to die
  • They are all talking about me
  • Feeling frightened
  • Feeling nervous
  • Fearing the worst
  • Down or depressed
  • Difficulties sleeping and eating
  • Unable to concentrate on things
  • Tired and irritable.

 Physically you might feel:

  • Fast breathing
  • Racing of your heart
  • Dry mouth
  • Trembling
  • Faintness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Needing to go to the toilet more often
  • Tense muscles
  • Being sick
  • Panic attacks

Examples of behaviour:

  • Avoiding the situation
  • Isolating yourself
  • Using risky behaviours to cope with the stress i.e smoking/drinking/taking drugs
  • Compulsive behaviours i.e checking things frequently, always doing things in the same order.
  • Fear of being separated from those close to you

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