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Treating Anxiety

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If you are suffering from anxiety, you will know how it can affect your daily life. If you have come this far, well done in acknowledging the importance of your mental health; you are taking a positive step forward by seeking help. Psychology Consultants have a large team of Clinical Psychologists, male and female, who are highly qualified and regarded in the psychology industry. Having such a large team of Psychologists provides you with the opportunity to select a Psychologist that you feel comfortable working with. We have practices on Brisbane’s North and South side and offer flexible appointment times including Saturday appointments. You can peruse our psychologists bio page to learn more about the team and their areas of specialisation.

 

WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?

Anxiety can be caused by a number of things that present as risk factors contributing to the development of an anxiety condition. Such factors include a genetic predisposition, stress and lifestyle, chronic health conditions, substance abuse and mental health conditions just to name a few.

Everyone is different in how they experience anxiety and what might provoke the onset of anxiety or a panic attack, which is why it is important to recognise your individual signs and symptoms and seek professional help.

WHAT IS A GENETIC PREDISPOSITION TO ANXIETY?

Sometimes anxiety or other mental health problems run in the family therefore giving you a genetic predisposition to it. This is not to say you will definitely have an anxiety condition if your grandmother did but if you are experiencing the symptoms of anxiety and you know it runs in the family, it would be a good idea to speak to a professional about it. You may also consider your personality type as research shows certain personality types are at higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Perfectionists, people who like to be in control or those who lack self-esteem sometimes develop anxiety disorders at various stages of their life.

CAN STRESS BRING ON ANXIETY?

Yes, ongoing stress, such as work related stress; marriage or relationship stress or traumatic life events may lead to the development of an anxiety condition.  It is important to recognise the stressor and manage the symptoms by talking to friends, family and a professional.

CAN CHRONIC HEALTH CAUSE ANXIETY?

Chronic health like diabetes, heart disease, asthma and other major physical illnesses are challenged to face the reality of the disease and often feel anxiety as an effect of the disease. Faced with problems that the disease places on everyday living such as monitoring and self-treatment and the effect it can have on relationships. Poor sleep, lack of self-confidence and low self esteem as a result of the disease, can also contribute to anxiety.

HOW DO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL EFFECT ANXIETY?

Managing anxiety can be difficult and some anxiety sufferers turn to alcohol or drugs to manage the symptoms. Unfortunately, the immediate effect of the substance that may seem effective, they often lead to long term addiction or substance abuse and may also aggravate the condition.

HOW TO DEAL WITH ANXIETY

It is difficult to know how to deal with anxiety, especially when it strikes as a panic attack or when it is mistaken for stress. Anxiety is a term which describes the feelings people experience when faced with threat or danger or when stressed. Often people will feel upset, uncomfortable or tense. Anxiety can sometimes be triggered by experiences such as job loss, relationship breakdown, illness, accidents or the death of someone close. In these situations, anxiety is usually experienced for a limited time.

An anxiety disorder is defined when anxiety is persistent, out of proportion to reality and significantly interferes with a person’s daily life. An anxiety disorder can be typically accompanied by intense uncontrollable worry, avoidance of real or perceived anxiety provoking situations and panic attacks. Speaking to a psychologist may help you deal with anxiety by equipping you with strategies to manage the symptoms and keep panic attacks under control.

WHY COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY WORKS FOR ANXIETY

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an evidenced-based form of therapy that focuses on changing belief and thinking patterns that result in certain behaviours, namely anxiety. CBT is based on the understanding that thinking negatively is a habit and like any other bad habit, it can be modified.

So in treating anxiety, our psychologists help people identify when their thought patterns are negative and replace them with more helpful thoughts, resulting in more positive behavioural outcomes.

Part of cognitive behavioural therapy in treating anxiety is monitoring your ‘self talk’ and testing realities of negative talk by evaluating the thoughts that lead to unhelpful fears and beliefs.  For example, people who suffer from anxiety may avoid friends or social situations because of negative beliefs. The treatment focuses on questioning the negative thoughts and beliefs (like, my friends find me boring) that lead to the feelings of anxiousness in social situations.

Finally, CBT not only helps you understand, manage and challenge thought and behaviour patterns but can also provide you with a range of  useful and practical strategies to enhance your productivity, well-being and your ability to cope with various situations in everyday life.

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or noticing these symptoms in someone you love, we have a diverse team of Brisbane psychologists who can help manage your anxiety. Visit the Brisbane Psychologists page to read about our team and their areas of specialisation.

You can read more articles about anxiety on this page.

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