Anxiety can vary in intensity from a mild nervousness to intense feelings of fear and panic.
It is often described by clients as feeling like you have no control over your brain or thoughts.
Clients say that sometimes they feel helpless, ashamed, weak and isolated.
They may even want to withdraw from life, as they don’t want people to see them like this.
It’s not quite as easy as turning it off and thinking positive thoughts!
The smallest tasks, that most people take for granted, can seem like insurmountable obstacles to people with anxiety.
It’s exhausting, frustrating, illogical and unpredictable.
Sufferers of anxiety are often terrified of what terrible things could happen in just one day.
They can become paralysed in that fear, unable to function and constantly worry about having a panic attack, which then brings on the panic attack.
People with anxiety are normal people who might work with you or sit next to you on the bus and you would never know that they are suffering.
On the surface all may appear calm however under the surface they are treading water like crazy!
They become very good at hiding what is going on from everyone.
There are many types and causes of anxiety however the general emotion behind all of it is FEAR.
Anxiety is a natural response to a real or perceived danger or threat.
Under normal circumstances we need fear/anxiety to prompt us to protect ourselves from danger.
It sends our bodies into the fight, flight or freeze response, so you can prepare for action to either run or fight or perhaps freeze so as not to be seen (more in the animal kingdom I think!)
In other words, the way the body responds to danger is one of the causes of anxiety symptoms, such as sweating, racing heart, shortness of breath etc, and that can be quite frightening.
We have all experienced this “normal” feeling at some stage in our lives, however mostly it goes away when the danger passes and the physical symptoms disappear.
Sufferers of anxiety are in this state constantly and the body forgets to relax when danger passes.
The mind seems to be in a state of overdrive, constantly worrying about everything and everybody.
The body experiences all the physical symptoms of being unable to breathe, sweating, heart palpitations, feeling sick in the stomach, fatigue, tight in the chest, like your head is going to explode and the list goes on.