As awareness of mental health is happily becoming more prominent and people everywhere, from social circles to the academic and secular worlds, are learning more about mental health and how It impacts on all of us, we are hearing various terms and words used to describe the various issues that relate to mental and emotional conditions. The two most well heard terms which are often readily used to describe the issues that are commonly experienced in the world of mental health are ‘depression and anxiety’.
However, if we are not careful these terms may become just a title or label that we give to a number of conditions that we don’t understand, and we may underestimate the impact they have, not only on others, but on ourselves and the many resources available to help us cope and deal with these conditions. Unlike the so called “common cold”, these ailments can be dealt with to such an extent that control can be gained and balance can be restored. First though, we need to recognize exactly what these terms mean and how to identify them. It is easy to say “I have anxiety” as we all feel anxious from time to time, but what exactly does it mean when you say “I am suffering from anxiety”?
Anxiety disorders are exactly that: anxiety that has become ‘dis-ordered’, or out of control and balance. We all recognise that anxiety is a response to fear, the ‘fight or flight’ response that helps us all deal with danger, and other threatening situations. This reflex reaction is perfectly normal and healthy and allows us to properly match a situation, with a response. However, prolonged anxiety, or not having the circumstances to either flee from an anxious situation, or use our adrenaline to fight our way out, can cause an imbalance in our minds and emotional well-being.
Some symptoms you may identify can include:
• A pounding or racing heartbeat.
• Sweaty and numb palms.
• Chills and shivers, sometimes accompanied with trembling.
• Laboured breathing.
• Weakness or dizziness.
• Chest pain, and heavy arms.
• Sudden urge to use the toilet.
It should be noted, that although we often tend to experience some similar reactions when we are anxious, our personal experiences leading up to anxiety, and our personalities, differ. This means that any feelings or symptoms we have will not be exactly the same as another’s. Therefore, the above list alone cannot diagnose or dismiss whether a person has an anxiety disorder or not.
When you suffer from a panic disorder, behavioural therapy, CBT, can really help you to re-think your way around the overwhelming, and sometimes relentless, anxiety you may be experiencing. Cognitive behavioural therapy has numerous applications, and in the case of any anxiety or panic disorder, CBT is extremely effective. Why is this?
Because every action always follows a thought, it is often a repeated pattern of thinking (that of danger or fear) that can produce a pattern of behaviour. As your brain seeks to process information, it will use past experiences to help you discern whether you are in danger or not. Therefore, where you have felt anxiety before – such as in a crowded room – you may find your anxiety will flare up again, even if you are perfectly safe at the time.
Behavioural therapy seeks to help you process the thoughts you have and experience when you are most likely to have a panic attack. By creating new thoughts through cognitive behaviour, you can learn to produce new reactions to situations, therefore reducing or preventing your usual response provoked by anxiety. Your process of thinking is a cognitive process, or can be described as a ‘chain of thought’. By changing or challenging that ‘chain of thought’, (your cognitive thinking) you can produce new, or more balanced reactions. This of course takes time and effort, but to not be discouraged, it is possible.
This therapy, CBT, is a proven and an encouraging method of helping you with your anxiety. I, Raj, am passionate about helping those who come to me, and with my course of treatment, panic disorder that can at times be debilitating, can be dealt with effectively. My support will also give you the tools you need to help you with any future anxiety related issues.
To learn more about CBT, panic disorder sufferers are encouraged to get in touch today.