Places You Can Get Help For Anxiety

Beyond Blue
Karrinyup Clinical Psychology Service

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear, nervousness, or apprehension. While it is normal for some anxiety to occur a part of everyday life, it becomes a problem when it is persistent and very intense and there is no clear reason for that feeling to exist.

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety usually is caused by a combination of factors instead of a single event or issue. However, the types of factors are usually different for different people.  The main factors are:

  • Biological - how a particular person reacts to an occurrence
  • Psychological - a person's beliefs and perceptions
  • Environmental - all the things that happen in our daily lives, especially our social interactions
  • Medical - either specific medical conditions or the side effects from medication
  • Our genetics - and the chemistry of our brain
  • Substance abuse

The types of things that can trigger an attack of anxiety include:

  • Problems or conflict with our relationships or our family and friends
  • Work related stress
  • Any type of abuse or bullying
  • A major traumatic shock
  • A change in our living arrangements
  • The death of someone close to us
  • Pregnancy

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

The feelings people can experience because of anxiety can vary depending on the type of factors causing the anxiety. However, typically people can experience:

  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Increased and rapid heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath or a feeling of choking
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Dizziness, or feeling lightheaded
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Dry mouth.
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Muscle aches and tension
  • Restlessness and feeling on-edge
  • Inability to concentrate and confusion

People experiencing anxiety may display the following behaviours:

  • Putting limits on their activities to prevent them doing things that would make them go outside their home
  • Avoid situations and actions they fear will trigger anxiety such as social situations or not using elevators
  • Avoiding eye contact with others
  • Engaging in antisocial, risky and unhealthy activities such as substance abuse or excessive alcohol
  • Avoiding crowed places where they may feel hemmed in
  • Becoming overly attached to an object or a person that makes them feel safe

What Can Be Done About Anxiety?

Without treatment symptoms of anxiety can last for weeks, months, or years and have severe consequences in both a person's private life and in their working life. Also people with anxiety that is left untreated often suffer from other psychological disorders that can compound the impact of the anxiety on their relationships and job performance.

Therefore, if you think you or a friend may be suffering from anxiety it is critical to get a professional diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible to minimise the impact of the anxiety.

If In the meantime national help telephone services can provide immediate support and counselling. Also, some people with mild anxiety may benefit by using some online forms of anxiety therapy.