Feeling anxious in certain situations can help us avoid danger, triggering our ‘fight’, ‘flight’ or ‘freeze’ response. It is how we have evolved to keep ourselves safe. However, sometimes we can become overly worried about perceived threats.

When your worries are persistent or out of proportion to the reality of the threat and get in the way of you living your life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Continue reading below to find out how we can help.


Anxiety is a normal feeling that all people experience when they’re facing a threat or danger, or when they’re stressed.

However, some of us will go on feeling anxious and upset even when the stressful event has passed. Sometimes the feelings seem to happen on their own, without any specific event to trigger them. They may be so severe and long lasting that they interfere with our daily lives and stop us doing what we want to do. These feelings, and the physical symptoms that often accompany them, are caused by a collection of illnesses called anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders are very common. These disorders change the way we feel, think and behave. If they’re not treated, they can cause us considerable distress, and affect our relationships with the people we live and work with.

Many people experience periods of anxiety in their lives when they are under stress, or when going through major changes such as moving home or jobs. For most people they may worry a lot about what may or may not happen, they may feel tense, irritable and reactive, notice their heart beating more than before, and they may feel tired, have difficulty relaxing and/or sleeping, for periods of time, as they struggle to deal with challenging life experiences.

Many people find that these symptoms of anxiety are transient and disappear after a few days or weeks as worries subside but for some people these distressing symptoms of anxiety do not disappear.

They may continue to feel anxious and worried, sometimes without any specific event triggering the feelings. If these worries, fear about the future, and physical symptoms such as fast heart rate and sweating have become severe enough to interfere with your ability to cope with your daily life you may be developing an anxiety disorder.


Living with an anxiety disorder

Anyone living with an anxiety disorder has to struggle on many fronts: feeling anxious and fearful, worrying that this stress will affect their long-term health, coping with the physical symptoms, and gauging its effect on family, friends and co-workers.

When you’re overwhelmed by these feelings, it’s easy to forget that an anxiety disorder is not an inevitable consequence of your personality, or situation, or who you are. Instead, there’s good reason to stay positive. Remember, it’s an illness that can be treated and, with the proper guidance, you can learn to manage it.

People suffering from anxiety disorders often find themselves:

  • Worried or afraid
  • Upset and tense
  • Irritable & easily annoyed by other people
  • As if they’re losing control and ‘going crazy’
  • As if something very bad is going to happen
  • Worried about things out of proportion with the problem
  • Stuck in catastrophic thinking
  • Challenged making decisions
  • Having difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Hyper vigilant (being very alert, on the ‘lookout’)
  • Isolating, withdrawing, avoiding social situations
  • Obsessing – unwanted negative thoughts that get ‘stuck’ in their mind
  • Anticipating a bad event such as the death or loss of someone important, accidents, or robbery
  • Engaging in compulsions – rituals or behaviours used to help reduce, avoid or manage the anticipated bad event causing the anxiety
  • Continually seeking reassurance, asking questions, checking on friends or family

They also often have intense physical sensations such as:

  • Breathlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Choking or difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea, or stomach pains
  • Dizziness
  • Pins and needles

Do I have a problem with Anxiety? If any of these signs resonate – you can do this quick anxiety test to find out more.


What happens in treatment?

For people living with an anxiety disorder, successful treatment means learning skills to reduce their anxiety symptoms and discovering the roots of the problem: finding out how their history or lifestyle is impacting the disorder, and deciding on action for change.

Finding your road to recovery from an anxiety disorder is a very personal journey. When you are in still in the middle of dealing with the issues and problems that have prompted you to seek this information, it can be very challenging to even glimpse what life may be like after the anxiety has resolved.

As you attend your tailored treatment program the accompanying thinking, feeling and behavioural problems, and relationship patterns will be supported. You will also be provided with an on-going (post treatment) continuing care plan that will help you to continue to live your life without disabling anxiety.

South Pacific Private offers a combination of medical, therapeutic and skills-based counselling for those wanting to understand and overcome their anxiety. The team can help you regain control over your thoughts and give you the skills you need to avert crises in the future.

If you would like to speak to someone who understands the challenges of living with anxiety, and who can discuss your particular situation and treatment needs, we suggest that you call the Client Care Team who will offer a free and confidential preliminary chat, or full assessment if that is your preference.

Take the first step into treatment today by phoning the Client Care Team on 1800 063 332. You can also email info@southpacificprivate.com.au

South Pacific Private is here to help when you or someone you love experiences difficulties with addictions, trauma or with mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety.

CATH: I had a choice in my life, to die or to do something. I was depressed. I hated my guts. I thought I was worthless and everyone’s problem. I didn’t know what a normal life was. I had to do something about it.


Find out if you have a problem

The goal of our self-tests is not to provide you with a diagnosis for yourself or for someone you care about. Instead, they are an opportunity for you to better understand how a behaviour might be impacting upon your life or the life of your family. Use these tests to enhance your awareness of what the problem might be. These tests should be answered honestly in order to provide accurate insight and are a chance for you to reflect upon the current situation.


Find out if you have a problem.
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