Get help Managing anxiety
According to the World Health Organisation, 284 million people are living with anxiety worldwide. Furthermore, less than half of all people who struggle with anxiety disorders receive proper treatment.
Given these worrying realities, it’s obvious that mental health and anxiety treatment is now more vital than ever.
At Counselling in Melbourne we provide a wide range of psychology and counselling services that cover everything from anxiety, depression, and stress to relationship problems, grief & loss, and low self-esteem.
How can we help you manage anxiety?
Since anxiety can be a serious health condition, talking to your friends or family members about it might not prove enough.
Sometimes, you may need the help of a trained professional who can conduct a thorough assessment and design a personalised anxiety treatment plan.
With the help of one of our Melbourne registered counsellors or anxiety psychologists, you can explore the nature of your condition, identify your triggers, and cultivate healthy habits and coping skills that will help you keep your worries in check.
Having a safe space where you can ‘open up’ about your struggles and receive unconditional support allows you embark on a journey of self-exploration and self-discovery.
By encouraging your strengths, building a strong therapeutic alliance, and providing useful insights about your condition, our team can help you overcome anxiety and rediscover the joys of a healthy and fulfilling life.
You don’t have to fight anxiety alone. Contact us and book an appointment with one of our experienced counsellors or clinical psychologists in Melbourne to receive the professional support you need to overcome your fears and worries.
What is anxiety?
According to psychologists, anxiety is a physical and psychological reaction to threats and danger.
From this point of view, anxiety is a vital mechanism that allows us to ‘dodge’ situations, people, or decisions that can harm us physically, mentally, or emotionally.
For example, anxiety is what makes you look twice before crossing a busy street or drive slower when you’re passing through a residential area.
But excessive worrying can also be the reason why you avoid crowded places, cancel a presentation, or second-guess every decision you make.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
In general, this emotional problem is accompanied by a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms like:
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Irrational fears
- Lack of focus
- Poor decision-making
- Avoidance behaviors
- Uncontrollable worrying
If left unchecked, these symptoms can generate a lot of emotional distress and prevent you from achieving your true potential and living life to the fullest.
In its severe forms, anxiety can trigger panic attacks and contribute to the onset of depression, leading to overall poor quality of life.
Why should we address anxiety?
Because anxiety disorders can have a profoundly negative impact on your personal and professional life.
We live in a dynamic world where change has become part of everyday life. That means the secret to a happy, fulfilling, and healthy life is being flexible and adaptable enough to keep up with our ever-changing reality.
Unfortunately, change can become a significant source of stress when you’re living with anxiety. As a result, you begin to develop a rigid mindset that prevents you from taking advantage of the exciting opportunities that life throws down your path.
When you’re dealing with anxiety, chances are you might lose fulfilling relationships and exciting job opportunities, because you’re too afraid to take risks. In other words, anxiety keeps you in a comfort zone where nothing ever changes or ‘grows.’
Furthermore, anxiety can also be the reason why you’re struggling with poor academic or work performance, low self-esteem, and an overall grim perspective on the future.
From an interpersonal perspective, an anxiety disorder might be the reason why you’re having trouble going on dates or cultivating a lasting relationship with your life partner. It’s also the reason why you don’t hang out, thus missing out on new and exciting experiences.
But anxiety comes in many ‘shapes and sizes’ and to understand how this condition can make your life a living hell, let’s take a closer look at the different types of anxiety.
What are the main types of anxiety?
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
Generalised anxiety disorder refers to uncontrollable and excessive worries about everyday life events, even in the absence of solid reasons for concern. It’s the most common form of anxiety disorder, affecting millions of people across the globe.
Panic disorder characterised by frequent episodes of extreme fear and anxiety that seem to come out of nowhere. Those who are dealing with panic disorder may experience intense panic attacks that often send them straight to the emergency room. They may also develop anxiety about when the next panic attack will be and where it will take place, and often avoid places where they have experienced panic attacks in the past.
These represent intense feelings of fear caused by various objects, animals, or situations. As a result, people with specific phobias often resort to avoidance or, if the circumstances ‘force’ them to confront their fears, experience intense discomfort and anxiety.
Social anxiety occurs in specific social contexts and is accompanied by an entire array of unpleasant symptoms such as restlessness, worry, fear, sweating, and so on. Those who struggle with this condition experience difficulties during oral presentations, dates, and pretty much any context that involves social interactions.
This is a condition that occurs after we’ve witnessed an event that we perceive as dangerous, frightening, or shocking. People who’ve been through car accidents, natural disasters, or abuse often experience nightmares, flashbacks, and a constant state of restlessness.
This is a severe form of anxiety characterised by intrusive and uncontrollable obsessions that generate anxiety and are followed by compulsive behaviors (or rituals), meant to create a sense of relief.
What treatment is available for anxiety?
Anxiety is highly treatable. Counselling by an anxiety therapist in Melbourne can help and sometimes medication might be recommended by your GP. Trained psychologists for anxiety disorders can perform a comprehensive assessment and draw up a personalised anxiety treatment plan that meets your needs.
Many people experience symptom relief after seeking professional counselling and care. It may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for you to see an improvement in your quality of life.
In a caring and safe non-judgmental place, an anxiety psychologist utilises Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness strategies, which can help to:
- Untangle stress
- Provide clarity
- Reframe life events
- Alleviate distress
- Support more positive thinking
- Inspire effective problem-solving
- Improve relationships
- Boost self-confidence
- Explore personal goals and life direction
- Promote relaxation and mindfulness
- Find happiness
When it’s more than anxiety
People who have generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) may also develop depression, alcoholism, or drug addiction. It’s also common for those with generalised anxiety disorder to have other anxiety disorders. These can include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social phobias.