Anxiety Counselling; Panic, Fear & Worry
If stress starts to affect your performance and health, you have gone beyond the best level of stress for you. You need to find ways to manage that stress more effectively.
We have helped hundreds of people just like you manage their stress whether it be work-life balance stress, job related stress, relationship stress, family life stress or financial stress.
An anxiety disorder can be debilitating with a significant and detrimental impact on all areas of your life.
It can prevent you from functioning at your full capacity, stop you from achieving your goals, make you avoid doing things that you would normally enjoy or benefit from, and mean that you can’t develop and maintain personal relationships.
If you’re highly anxious and suffering we can help you make real changes and start living the life you want free from worry, fear, and panic.
- Understand what triggers your anxiety
- Step back into life – get practical solutions to deal with your problems
- Stop worrying about everything
- Change your fear-based thinking habits
- Stop using negative coping strategies that may be making things worse
- Stop worrying about tomorrow and start living today
It’s important to seek support early if you’re experiencing anxiety. Your symptoms may not go away on their own and if left untreated, they can start to take over your life.
Things you should know
- Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but people who experience extreme fear and worry that does not subside may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia. Nearly one in 7 people will experience some type of anxiety disorder in any one year – around one in 6 women and one in 10 men. One in four people will experience an anxiety disorder at some stage of their lives
- It can be debilitating, preventing you from functioning at your full capacity. The frequency and intensity can be overwhelming and interfere with daily functioning.
- There are several types of anxiety disorders, each with its own characteristics. The most common are Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD); Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety (or Social Phobia), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Specific Phobias.
- There are effective treatments for these disorders. Fortunately, the majority of people with an anxiety disorder improve considerably by getting effective psychological treatment. Medication will not cure anxiety disorders, but it can keep them under control while the person receives counselling.
Is Anxiety Stopping you from Living The Life You Want?
If you show some of the following signs and symptoms, and they just don’t go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
- High levels of anxiety, fear or apprehension
- Worrying about things more days than not
- Difficulty stopping thoughts related to worrying
- Feeling restless or on edge even when nothing is going on around you to cause these feelings
- Irrational fears that you can’t shake
- Difficulty falling asleep due to too many thoughts in your head
- A sense of impending doom with danger and catastrophe around every corner
- Periods when you have symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweaty palms, shallow breathing or sudden, unexpected panic attacks
- Avoidance of everyday situations or activities because they make you anxious
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms
- Friends or family members tell you that you are too highly strung, worry too much about little things, or need to ‘chill out’ more.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Continuous and extreme anxiety and worry about particular areas of life that are repetitive, ongoing, and in most cases, out of proportion to the actual situation. Common worries include relationships, work, health and finances. Read More..
Social Anxiety / Social Phobia
An intense fear and avoidance of social situations like parties, meetings, speaking in public, going shopping
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Having frequent unwanted thoughts, distressing images or impulses. Feeling compelled to perform certain behaviours e.g. to keep checking things, washing hands, showering
Where a person experiences sudden feeling of intense fear with shortness of breath, dizziness, fast heartbeat, nausea or choking. They may also worry about going crazy, losing control or dying. There does not always need to be a specific trigger to set off the panic attack and an attack can occur, anywhere, at any time.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
An anxiety disorder triggered by a major traumatic event outside the normal range of human experience which results in intense fear, terror and feelings of helplessness. Events commonly resulting in PTSD include natural disasters, violent crimes, physical, sexual or emotional assault and abuse, and motor vehicle accidents. Read more..
Anxiety about having a panic attack somewhere you believe is difficult (or embarrassing) from which to escape. Agoraphobia usually leads to avoidance of certain places and situations. Common situations feared in Agoraphobia include shopping centres, airports, railway stations, churches, and theatres.
Intense and ongoing fear of one particular object or situation. Common Specific Phobia’s are: animal phobias (fear and avoidance of snakes, mice, rats, dogs, spiders and other creatures); fear of heights; fear of being in lifts / elevators; fear of flying; Doctor or Dentist Phobia; Blood Injury Phobia; and fear of contracting or succumbing to a specific illness.
Am I suffering from an anxiety disorder or is what I’m feeling normal?
Being anxious isn’t necessarily a problem – everyone experiences it now and again.
It is a normal response to a stressful event or perceived threat. However, if your anxiety is persistent, powerful (your emotional reaction is out of proportion to the worry or the anticipated threat) and it interferes with your daily life you should seek a professional diagnosis and treatment.
Why is it important to seek treatment for Anxiety Disorders?
If left untreated, anxiety disorders can have severe consequences.
For example, some people who suffer from recurring panic attacks avoid any situation that they fear may trigger an attack. Such avoidance behaviour may create problems by conflicting with job requirements, family obligations or other basic activities of daily living.
If you think you may have an anxiety disorder get a professional diagnosis and treatment now.
Psychological Counselling for Anxiety
We have helped hundreds of people just like you manage and overcome their anxiety.
Psychological treatments may not only help you to recover, but can also prevent a recurrence. For many people, counselling is the most effective form of treatment.
Most people notice improvement in symptoms and functioning within a few treatment sessions.
Within several months the large majority of people are able to eliminate their anxiety symptoms or reduce them to the extent that they can return to normal functioning.
If anxiety is causing you distress or getting in the way of achieving your goals you should get help.
Most anxiety disorders are treatable. As with many illnesses, the earlier that treatment begins, the more effective it is and the greater the likelihood that recurrence can be prevented.
American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition American Psychiatric Association, Washington DC
Hyman SE, Rudorfer MV. (2000) Anxiety disorders. in: Dale DC, Federman DD, eds. Scientific American Medicine. Volume 3. New York: Healtheon/WebMD Corp., Sect. 13, Subsect. VIII.
National Institute of Mental Health (2009) Anxiety Disorders US Department of Health & Human Services Bethesda (MD) Available from: www.nimh.nih.gov
Common names, abbreviations and related terms for include GAD, SAD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, OCD, Panic Disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, ASD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder , PTSD, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobia, worry, stress, panic attack
Please Note – Ahead Psychology does not provide emergency crisis counselling. If you or someone you know needs crisis counselling, call Lifeline’s 24 hour telephone crisis support service 13 11 14
If you are facing a medical emergency from self-harm call an ambulance (000) or go to the emergency department of your local hospital.