GENERALISED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD)
ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH ANXIETY?
Anxiety or Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects as much as 5% of the UK’s population. Though experiencing anxiety is different for everyone, some common symptoms include feeling restless, constant headaches, excessive ongoing worry and tension and noticeably fast or irregular heartbeat. Fortunately anxiety therapy is available. At Select Psychology, our team of specialists provides a range of support services to help you cope with anxiety in a safe and confidential environment.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
The information on this page focuses on Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), but there are many different types of anxiety, including:
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
GAD involves chronic worrying, nervousness and tension. We all experience situations from time to time that make us fearful and apprehensive. These are natural reactions that are important for how we function as human beings. However, for some people, their anxiety can become almost constant, may have no apparent cause, or is disproportionate and excessive to the concern. It can become overwhelming in these cases, and life becomes a constant state of worry, dread and fear. Eventually, if left untreated, anxiety dominates a person’s thinking so much that it can interfere with typical day to day functioning and may lead to avoidance of regular activities.
The difference between “normal” worrying and GAD is that the worrying involved in GAD is:
Symptoms of Anxiety:
Anxiety can last for a long time and affects your physical and mental health in many ways. Some common symptoms of anxiety include, but are not limited to excessive, ongoing worry and tension; difficulty concentrating; intrusive thoughts; feelings of depression; shortness of breath; constant headaches and other aches and pains; feeling sick or diarrhoea; fast or irregular heartbeat; dry mouth and trembling.
WHEN TO SEEK THERAPY FOR ANXIETY
You should consider anxiety therapy when:
You have difficulty enjoying your leisure time without worrying
Feeling weary of trying new things for the fear of failing or not being good or perfect at it
Having panic attacks due to overthinking, fear and stress
Depersonalisation (feeling disconnected from your body and mind) or derealisation (feeling disconnected from the world around you)
Grinding your teeth, often without realising and especially at night
Avoiding going to events or meeting people due to anxious thoughts and fear of judgement
Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Seeking a lot of external validation and reassurance and worry that people are angry or upset with you
Worrying about things you cannot control, usually things that might happen n the future
THE BEST THERAPIES FOR TREATING ANXIETY
Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Counselling & Psychotherapy
BENEFITS OF ANXIETY THERAPY
Learn strategies and techniques to cope with anxiety healthily
Identify what triggers anxiety for you; an increased awareness may help you deal with it more effectively when you feel anxious
Develop an understanding of what causes anxiety for you
Discuss how your thoughts influence your actions; this will help you gain an increased awareness of yourself
IS YOUR ANXIETY RELATED TO SOMETHING SPECIFIC?
There are multiple factors that can cause anxiety. Research suggests that anxiety might be caused by:
Genetic predisposition to anxiety – if you have a close relative with anxiety, you are five times more likely to develop the condition yourself
The brain chemicals (serotonin and noradrenaline) involved in the control of mood become unbalanced
Overactivity in areas of the brain that control emotions and behaviour
A history of stressful or traumatic experiences, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or bullying
Long-term health conditions that cause ongoing pain or sudden changes to health
Experiencing constant stressful situations at workplace or home
Having a history of drug or alcohol misuse
Current events that might be distressing or uncertain
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH ANXIETY
If you or someone you know is struggling with the difficulties that can come with anxiety, it is best to seek therapy as soon as you are able to, but in the meantime there are some things that can help while you are waiting for your first appointment:
Making a note of things that make you anxious can make them feel less overwhelming when they are on a piece of paper.
Keep a diary to monitor how anxious you feel on a daily basis. This may help you understand what triggers your anxiety. Also, keep a note of good things that happen to remind yourself that things aren’t all that bad, and positive things still happen when you are struggling.
Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep. Sleep can provide you with energy to deal better with difficult experiences.
Exercise regularly to look after your physical and mental wellbeing.
Learn breathing exercises. They can help you feel more in control and can be used to calm you down when you start to feel anxious.
HOW CAN OUR PSYCHOLOGY SERVICES HELP WITH ANXIETY?
We offer a wide range of therapies that can be used as anxiety therapy to give you the tools to cope and understand your emotions. We are a private mental health service with highly trained therapists and no waiting lists.
This is how therapy would work:
Get in touch
HELPFUL THINGS TO KNOW
What is the best therapy for anxiety?
CBT is a widely used approach to treat anxiety. Research has shown it is effective in treating Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Phobias and Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Can you ever be cured of anxiety?
Many forms of anxiety can be cured and managed for life. Some of the most effective and successful therapies apart from CBT for curing anxiety are ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and CFT (Compassion Focused Therapy).
ACT is a type of stress management, based on the premise that you should accept what is out of your control and commit to action that improves and enriches your life. Whereas, CFT focuses on teaching you techniques to focus on reactivating the compassionate part of brain and learning new ways to react.
How long does anxiety therapy take?
The length of time can vary on a case by case basis and depending on the frequency of sessions. Typically therapy would take between 6-20 sessions taking place weekly or fortnightly, each session lasting around 50-60 minutes.
How does anxiety make you feel?
For many people, it feels like they are constantly on high alert and unable to relax, like your fight or flight response is always turned on. A persistent feeling of panic and dread becomes exhausting after a while and takes a considerable toll on your body, which is why learning to manage and cope with anxiety is very important.
What is the difference between anxiety and fear?
They are both interrelated. The main distinction is, fear is a response to known, understood threat. Whereas, anxiety is a response to an unknown or poorly understood threat.