Therapy for Anxiety in London
When the feeling of dread or worry is constantly there, therapy for managing anxiety and coping with panic attacks can help.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is described as ‘a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome’, however this description does not encompass how the experience of anxiety can range from feeling a little worried about day to day life to feeling debilitated, frozen and overwhelmed by your feelings and not knowing how to manage these strong emotions.
To anyone in the grip of a panic attack, the sensations can even feel life threatening.
Anxiety can be a sense of apprehension, fear, dread or foreboding and there are a range of symptoms associated with this (see below).
You may have had experiences from your past that mean you live with these feelings ongoing, or it’s possible that more specific events like loss and bereavement, losing our jobs, divorce and separation, debt, trying for a baby or being a parent can make it hard for us to cope in the moment. (link to post-traumatic stress disorder/depression/problems conceiving?) Often, we cannot pinpoint the exact cause of our anxiety which adds to our feeling ‘out of control’.
Using a gentle and practical approach in which we will identify what your particular experience is, therapy for Anxiety is a very effective way to learn to manage the onset of a panic attack and learn what the triggers are, and how to manage situations to diffuse them.
What are the symptoms of an Anxiety?
We may experience light headiness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and a need to run away from social/work situations. These are all signs that you may be suffering from severe anxiousness. Other symptoms are withdrawing from normal everyday activities and feeling a loss of control. We may respond to the intensity of these experiences by disconnecting or freezing, therefore making it very difficult to function in the moment. This can feel very scary and add to our sense of powerlessness or purpose to act. (link to depression)
Those who have suffered from extreme anxiousness or an episode of panic often report experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
- Heart palpitations or a racing heart
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling frozen and stuck
- Disconnected and unavailable
- Choking feeling
- Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
- Feelings of numbness or tingling
- Suddenly feeling Hot or cold
- Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy
Is feeling anxious normal?
The sensation of feeling anxious or even having a little bit of panic is a very normal emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Particularly when faced with a new experience or unfamiliar situation we can feel overwhelmed – the first time we speak in public, attending an interview or perhaps the morning of a big day, such as the first day at a new job. Excitement and Fear are often not too far apart, although as we constrict our bodies to deal with stressful moments it becomes harder to feel excited or put our desires into action.
When does the feeling of Anxiety or Panic become a problem?
If the experience of anxiety starts to dominate and limit our everyday lives this is the signal that something is wrong. When anxiety and panic attacks become regular occurrences then it is time to seek help.
You may identify with one of the following features that might indicate that your anxiety or panic is not under control:
- Experiencing frequent, unexpected attacks of panic or overwhelm that seem to be related to or triggered by a regular situation or location
- You are beginning to worry regularly about ‘having another panic attack’ which is making you feel anxious
- You are adjusting your behaviour to avoid the chance of another panicky episode e.g. avoiding locations, avoiding public transport, avoiding certain groups of people
- You are judgemental of yourself and find yourself caught in a loop of negative and critical thinking, which may often occur at night-time. This can induce insomnia and further anxiety which will mean you have less resources with which to reassure yourself
- You may begin or already use alcohol, drugs or smoking to manage the feelings, which will also have its own negative effects.
- We may also move towards a more palpable feeling, such as anger, in order to manage the powerlessness that fear and anxiety can bring (link to anger)
How therapy for Anxiety can help
Psychotherapy can be very effective at exploring the roots or causes of these feelings of panic or anxiousness and can help you to learn to manage your response to the catalyst of these emotions.
Therapy can also help you by teaching you some techniques to remain calm and enable you to control your breathing and heart rate, which then reduces your cycle of anxiety and reduces the feeling of panic.
As our experience of feeling fearful and anxious can be isolating and scary, it can be helpful to name what happens for us and to share this so we can learn ways to have these feelings and support ourselves towards a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
I fully understand how frightening these emotions can feel and can help you to move forward and manage them.
What if I can’t talk about the issue because it makes me feel anxious?
Sometimes even thinking about your feelings of anxiety or panic can be enough to bring on an attack. In this situation we will work at a pace that feels supportive and manageable. We can work gently around what is most present for you in a supportive way that gives you the tools to begin to manage your anxiety and have a different experience in your life.
The really good thing is that by finding this page you have already started to deal with it by simply exploring what help might be available.
Take the first step to managing your panic attacks and contact me to discuss therapy for your anxiety.
Therapy for Anxiety in London with Abi
Take the first step to overcoming your feelings of anxiety and panic, contact me to find out more about therapy for anxiety.