Feeling anxious is a normal human reaction in stressful or high-pressure situations and can be useful in some situations. During times of stress or anxiety the “fight or flight” response is activated in our bodies which is designed helps us to detect and avoid threats and danger. Normal anxiety may be caused by situations we are worried about, such as starting a new job, being diagnosed with an illness or having to speak in public. Feeling stressed and anxious about a particular event is normal, but for people who have an anxiety disorder, these persistent feelings of worry, stress or dread can be debilitating.
If these feelings of anxiety are intense or last for long periods of time, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a term used for several mental health conditions that cause irrational or persistent feelings of worry, stress or fear. These are very common disorders, affecting around 1 in 4 Australians at some time in their lives.
or use our online booking form to speak to one of our friendly, compassionate psychologists who will be able to help you take back control.
If you have an anxiety disorder, you may find it hard to cope with everyday life as the anxious thoughts and feelings take over. Other signs your anxiety might be becoming a mental health problem are:
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is one type of anxiety disorder. There are many different types and they each have different symptoms, although they all cause distress for the person suffering. GAD is a common anxiety disorder, and can affect you mentally and physically. It also significantly impacts your functioning in important areas of your life, like work or school. How severe the symptoms are varies from person to person.
Psychological symptoms of GAD: You worry, more days than not, about many different events or activities. You may feel that the worry is hard to control. You might feel restless, irritable, have a sense of dread or feel on edge all the time. These feelings might lead to you isolate yourself and avoid social situations, work or study. You might seek reassurance from others that everything is going to be all right or have ruminating thoughts (thinking about a situation or experience over and over again).
Sometimes people experience disassociation – feeling disconnected from the world around you or from your own body and mind. You may have certain rituals or compulsive behaviours caused by your anxiety, or feeling agitated and impatient with others. You might become hyper-vigilant and waiting for bad things to happen all the time.
Physical symptoms of GAD: If you have GAD you may feel tired, experience difficulty concentrating or have mind blanks, have muscle tension, feel irritable, and have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
High levels of anxiety can lead to long term health conditions if left untreated, such as stomach ulcers, heart conditions or diabetes. It is important that you seek help for GAD early so these long-term health problems can be avoided.
Some people with GAD turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate. If you feel this is becoming a problem for you, you should speak to someone who can help so you do not end up with a substance abuse problem.
If you have anxiety disorder, we can help you take back control of your thoughts and feelings and reduce your anxiety symptoms. Phone us today on (07) 5479 3538 at Maroochydore or (07) 5438 9177 at Caloundra to make an appointment to speak to one of our experienced psychologists who will work with you to reduce and manage your stress and anxiety. Alternatively use our online booking form to arrange an appointment.
At E&A, we are a group of compassionate psychologists who genuinely want to help you create change. Our two convenient locations are central Maroochydore and the Caloundra health precinct. Our aim is to see you find your best life, great relationships and goals that excite you.