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  • Fiona Owen

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety!! It's become a bit of a buzz word lately, but what actually is it?



Anxiety is a fear of something that has not happened yet. With extreme anxiety many people are prone to catastrophize and imagine the worst possible outcome in a situation. Anxiety is a normal part of the human condition and when the appropriate amount of anxiety is present for the situation at hand then anxiety can be functional and useful. Anxiety can appear in different ways and different strengths. Anxiety affects an individual's whole being.


Physical symptoms include

· rapid heartbeat

· muscle tension

· dry mouth

· nausea

· cold, clammy hands

· difficulty swallowing

· gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea

· sweating

· jumpiness

· sleep difficulties


Extreme anxiety affects our abilities to function. Avoidance of certain situations or withdrawal from others may be the result of anxiety. Psychologically, anxiety is a subjective state of apprehension or uneasiness.


Anxiety can be described as a lack of ability for the individual to support and regulate their inner processing and maintain a good chemical balance in the body at a level so that we can still think clearly and act rationally. Treatment for anxiety varies and there is no one fits all solution. Counselling and therapy are proven to aid with the better management of most types of anxiety. Some forms will also benefit from exploring medication. Therapy helps to identify unhelpful thinking patterns, and through this awareness, to make changes to these ways of thinking and feeling.

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