How we treat Anxiety in St Albans
What is Anxiety?
anxiety n. a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry
Collins English Dictionary
Anxiety is inbuilt into the fabric of who you are, regardless of what’s going on in your life. Unlike stress, the root causes of anxiety may be – and frustratingly remain – unknown but you have a constant and often debilitating feeling of impending doom accompanied by fear and apprehension. It can manifest itself in physical symptoms such as stomach aches, shaking, sweaty palms and panic attacks.
On one hand, anxiety can protect you from impending danger by releasing adrenalin which makes your heart beat faster; to carry the blood around your body your breathing quickens to produce the extra oxygen you need for energy; you sweat which prevents your body from overheating; more blood is sent to your muscles; your brain is more alert and your senses are heightened.
This is known as the ‘fight or flight reflex’. These physiological symptoms allow you to quickly react and either run away from danger (flight) or stay and take your chances (fight).
While this is useful against imminent physical dangers, it’s not particularly useful if you want to run away from making a presentation at work, taking exams, a driving test or going across a bridge. If there’s not a clearly defined physical threat, the ‘fight or flight’ reflex doesn’t manifest itself and your feelings of agitation continue for longer.
Social anxiety is far more common than we might think and most of us have suffered from social anxiety in one form or another during our lives. It manifests itself as a fear of rejection or being judged or embarrassed in front of other people. It leads to avoidance behaviour and can have a disruptive, negative effect on how you live your life, including but not exclusively –
- Meeting new people
- Giving presentations
- Speaking to authority figures
- Eating out
General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Put simply, GAD is essentially worrying about worrying. If you feel anxious about a whole range of issues rather than a specific issue or event, the likely diagnosis is GAD. For most people, their anxiety is far greater than the situation warrants and it comes with physical symptoms including trouble sleeping and the associated fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea and shortness of breath.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety-related condition whereby a person frequently experiences intrusive, obsessive and all-consuming thoughts which are often (but not always) followed by repetitive, compulsive behaviour. As a practical example, worrying about whether you have locked your front door can lead you to lock, unlock and re-lock the door dozens of times.
According to www.ocd-uk.org, OCD affects around 1.2% of the British population across all genders, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Its effects can be so debilitating, the World Health Organisation has ranked OCD as one of the top ten most disabling illnesses of any kind, based on the diminished quality of life and loss of earnings.
Treat Anxiety in St Albans
I practice at Verulam Clinic in St Albans and The Natural Gateway Clinic in Borehamwood
118-120 Victoria Street
St Albans AL1 3TG
At Behavioural Freedom, I use a skills-based model for treating anxiety. During our sessions, I will teach you relaxation techniques and helpful ways in which you can fundamentally, positively and permanently change the way you behave, think and act. It’s also important to note here that you can’t be stressed or suffer from anxiety when you are in a relaxed state. The skills you’ll learn during your time with me will be vital to both your on-going treatment and perhaps more so as you leave my care.
A combination of Applied Relaxation and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is considered by the British Medical Journal to be one of the most effective therapies to alleviate anxiety and put you on a path to having a positive mind-set and being able to live life to the fullest, free of worries. By combining both and adding in the element of hypnosis, I believe this is the most effective, pragmatic and relevant approach to the treatment of anxiety.
Please contact me today to start the journey back to behavioural freedom.