Anxiety is an emotion that can affect us at different times and in different ways. Despite sometimes being very unpleasant, anxiety is a normal human experience. Anxiety can be mild or severe and can affect us both psychologically and physically. Psychological symptoms of anxiety may include worry, thinking you are going mad, are about to die or that the feeling of fear may never go way. Physical symptoms of anxiety may include increased heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, nausea, shaking and headaches.
If anxiety is experienced in a certain way it may be classified as an Anxiety Disorders. The five major types of anxiety disorders are;
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – characterised by chronic anxiety with excessive worry.
Panic Disorder- describes periods of intense fear and physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath and abdominal distress.
Social Anxiety Disorder – a term used to describe the strong anxiety and self-consciousness that some people experience when faced with social situations.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – is an anxiety disorder associated with unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviours such as hand-washing, checking, cleaning and counting.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – is a disorder that largely occurs after exposure to terrifying ordeals such as assault, car accidents or military combat.
The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend CBT for the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders.