It is common for people to feel anxious over a variety of things. In life you will often experience many stressful situations: Exams, job interviews, planning a big event like a wedding, or even big changes of some kind. All of these can become very overwhelming and you may be troubled by waves of fear and doubt.
After the experience, you will likely feel relief and be glad that it’s all over. You’ll start feeling normal again. Unfortunately, for people with anxiety disorders, that last part is often skipped or takes too long to reach. Thankfully, our psychologists and therapists are here to provide counselling and strategies to help you deal with the impact of sustained anxiety.
Anxiety and Anxiety Disorder: What’s The Difference?
Anxiety is a normal feeling that all people experience. It is an instinctive survival mechanism from our prehistoric ancestors to keep us feeling motivated to survive. This same mechanism has been carried into the present, where individuals often experience feelings of vigilance and hyperarousal towards things that aren’t an actual threat. When these feeling spikes become a daily norm, the negative effects can impact functioning: This is what is known as an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders describe individuals who are anxious about things that others typically deal with or are unphased by. A person may have heightened stress levels when they’re exposed to a certain stressor or circumstance. For example, during an interview with their boss or on a first date. With an anxiety disorder however, one can dread both big and small things. For instance, paying the bills or starting a task. Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly is causing the symptoms of anxiety.
What are the effects?
With an anxiety disorder, a person’s normal coping behaviours do not work. This can result in a lack of sleep or energy. The constant worry cycle produces negative physical, as well as mental effects. The heart can race, breathing may become fast, one may constantly over-think; typically about the worst-case scenario.
An anxiety disorder can make people want to avoid doing anything that will make them even remotely anxious. As an example, after delivering a few presentations to your sales team, you may feel as though you’re slowly getting used to speaking in public. Sometimes, you even want to present more after you realise that you can have fun while during it, or even experience a sense of accomplishment. In contrast, an anxiety disorder may make you feel as though the safest way to avoid feeling anxious during public presentations is to never do them again. This can make you miss out on a lot of things in life.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms that indicate that you may have an anxiety disorder include:
- Excessive worry and over thinking
- Interrupted sleeping patterns
- Irrational fears
- Feelings of disaster
- Panic attacks
You may observe anxiety disorders within:
- Generalized anxiety
- Situational phobias
- Trauma responses (including PTSD)
While it’s true that anxiety typically dissipates over time, if it stays with you for extended periods you may need professional help. Our anxiety counselling utilises a multidisciplinary approach; combining different styles and methods to best provide the intervention you need.
This unique approach allows you to benefit from not only a reduction in symptoms, but can help to address the root causes. Our multi-disciplined professionals can apply unique therapies containing both psychologically and neurologically driven methods. For instance, psychotherapy taking place alongside neurological practices. This helps to give a more accurate assessment of one’s situation from both a behavioural and biological point of view.
Anxiety may be a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders are not. Our team at Direct Focus Solutions will help you discover the means to deal with your anxiety in a manner best suited to you. Our client-centred approach allows us to develop excellent client-therapist relationships to further improve your treatment experience. You will benefit from our various treatment methods, including our anxiety counselling services.
Our Anxiety Practitioners
Serena focuses primarily on identifying and treating Autism, ADHD, OCD, anxiety disorders (including social and general anxiety), schizoaffective disorder, and depression. She has well-developed patience and communication skills, and is particularly interested in the increase in mental health issues among young adults.
Jennifer is a friendly and approachable person with a passion for helping maintain people's psychological wellbeing. She is a newcomer in the psychology profession, having previously worked in business administration for a number of years. She also has casual experience as a hypnotherapist.
Sabrina is a born and bred “Californian” who is fuelled by a love for body-brain connections. Sabrina has gained experience in complex behaviours linked with neurodevelopmental trauma, sensory processing disorder, and learning delays. She currently works with the neurofeedback team as a consultant.
Felix entered the psychology practice in order to better understand people, their motivations and their behaviours. At Direct Focus Solutions, he applies his extensive past and present knowledge to neurofeedback training and assistance, along with occupational therapy and psychology group programs.
Eliza is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with over 13 years of post-graduate experience in therapeutic practice and acute Mental Health, including emergency settings and long-term mental health rehabilitation. She works holistically with the individual, not simply their set of symptoms or diagnoses.