Sometimes it can feel like anxiety and fear are taking over your life. Anxiety is the expectation that something will go wrong, and can involve intense worry. Anxiety can take a generalized form, where it’s hard to switch your mind off worrying about everyday things like work responsibilities, finances, your health, family members’ welfare, household chores or getting to appointments on time. When it is hard to control excessive worry, you may experience muscle tension, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, difficulty relaxing and poor sleep.
Fear is the intense emotional response to imminent threat, whether real or perceived, and is associated with the activation of your “fight or flight response”. A specific form of fear response is the panic attack which involves a sudden surge of intense fear and discomfort, and can involve a pounding heart, sweating, shaking, breathing difficulty, chest pain, numbness, tingling, dizziness and tummy upset. A panic attack can be overwhelming and can occur in the day time or wake you at night. If you don’t understand what’s going on you may be scared of losing control, going crazy or even dying.
For some people fear and anxiety might arise in specific situations. There can be fears or “phobias” associated with: certain animals, medical procedures, being in enclosed places or in open spaces, being outside the home, using public transport, standing in line or being in a crowd. Some people may experience social anxiety which is anxiety about being negatively judged in social situations. Some people are anxious about being separated from loved ones.
Living with excessive and persistent anxiety and fear can be very distressing and can have significant impact on your work life, your social life and your personal well-being. You may even start to avoid anxiety-provoking situations resulting in a significantly limited lifestyle.
Through psychotherapy you can learn to stand up to excessive anxiety and fear and reclaim your life. Maggie can help you understand the nature of anxiety and fear, and to identify and shift unhelpful underlying thinking processes. She can help you find ways to calm yourself when feeling anxious or fearful, to stand up to anxiety and fear, and to regain confidence in yourself and your world.