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what is anxiety?

Adaptive or 'normal' anxiety is a necessary and healthy part of human life; it activates life-preserving 'stress responses' to imminent danger and motivates people to plan for their future welfare, anticipate potential threats and take practical precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.

Severe anxiety occurs when a person’s life and well-being are significantly affected by overwhelming stress responses to everyday situations or where past or ongoing traumatic events continue to impede daily life. People living with severe anxiety often avoid difficult thoughts and feelings using life-limiting strategies that provide short-term relief but escalate symptoms over time. Clinically recognised anxiety presentations include Generalised Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety and Phobias. Untreated anxiety issues can induce physical symptoms, disrupt work and academic study and cause social, relationship and family stress; severe anxiety is also linked to other mental health challenges including depression, emotional dysregulation, suicidal ideation, and substance use.


Contact me to find out more about mental health support for adults and adolescents living with acute anxiety and related conditions.

symptoms of anxiety
& related conditions

Is your life limited or disrupted by?

  • panic attacks, which might include trembling, sweating, increased heart rate, hyperventilating & chest & muscle tension

  • blackouts

  • flashbacks

  • insomnia, disordered sleep or nightmares

  • restlessness, nervous energy, feeling unable to 'switch off'

  • irritability & mood swings

  • difficulty concentrating

  • disordered eating

  • unexplained physical symptoms & fatigue

  • overwhelming feelings of fear, doom, or dread

  • intrusive thoughts, catastrophizing, & rumination

  • relationship issues, inability to communicate or trust others, fear of abandonment

  • feeling isolated or lonely

  • extreme concern about how others view you

  • fear of going out & socialising

  • fear of public speaking, public humiliation or failure

  • lack of confidence, painful shyness

  • imposter syndrome

  • perfectionism

  • hoarding

  • fear of everyday objects, animals, activities and situations

  • unmanageable fears for the future well-being of yourself and loved ones

  • inability to take risks or try new things

  • inability to make decisions, feeling like you're 'stuck'

  • low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness

Do difficult events, memories, sensations, thoughts, or feelings cause you to?

  • avoid certain people, places, or situations

  • feel emotionally overdependent on certain people, pursuits or institutions

  • remain stuck in unhealthy situations or relationships

  • fear commitment or struggle to sustain relationships

  • experience self-controlling, ritualistic, self-harming, extreme or obsessive behaviours

  • distract yourself with unfulfilling pursuits

  • lack motivation or feel too afraid to pursue your goals

  • use alcohol or other substances

  • withdraw into yourself

If any of these symptoms have impaired your ability to function and enjoy life over a prolonged time period (of 6 months or more), you may be experiencing the effects of anxiety, trauma, depression or related conditions.



Contact me today to find out more about psychotherapeutic treatment and counselling support for these common issues.

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