Anxiety involves a frequent unpleasant feeling typically associated with uneasiness, apprehension and worry. It has physical, emotional and behavioural effects.
Anxiety is a very common condition. Any one of us, irrespective of age, gender or background can be affected. It is possible to minimise the impact of anxiety by accessing information and support, and finding ways to manage the condition.
Physical effects of anxiety can include:
- Racing heart
- Rapid breathing
- Disturbed sleep
- Tense muscles
Other effects can include:
- Excessive and undue worrying
- Morbid thoughts
- Feelings of panic / panic attacks
If you are concerned that you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder, Aware recommends that you speak to your GP or a mental health professional. This will help you to get a correct
diagnosis and decide which approach to treatment is appropriate for you.
Dr Lisa Lawless discusses how you prepare for your consultation, questions to ask your GP, what your GP can do for you, options for treatment/referral and how you can help yourself.
The most important thing to do is speak to a doctor or mental health professional in order to get a correct diagnosis. To find a GP in your area, contact the Irish College of General Practitioners on 01 676 3705.
- Try to identify the factors in your life which lead to your anxiety. Sometimes people cannot identify a cause for their anxiety but the helpful actions remain the same
- Consider the stress factors in your life, as anxiety is likely to worsen at times of high stress
- Consider accessing support services such as talk therapies. This can help to tackle stress factors in your life which may be aggravating the anxiety
- Think about which relaxation techniques might be useful for you – breathing exercises, mindfulness, yoga
- Light physical exercise and spending time outdoors can be very beneficial in alleviating some of the symptoms of anxiety
Talking through concerns with someone who understands can also be a help, Aware has a number of free services that offer support and information, find out more here.
Dr Claire Hayes is a practising consultant clinical psychologist, lecturer, author, research and a former Clinical Director with Aware. Since 1988, Claire’s main area of interest has been to help people understand the nature of their anxiety and to learn practical and evidence-based way of copying using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Odhran McCarthy, Principal Clinical Psychologist - Specialist, HSE Dublin North and Founder/Director of Social Anxiety Ireland discusses the link between Social Anxiety and Depression and identifies small things we can do to alleviate both.
Dr Claire Hayes talks about patience, understanding & kindness in the face of depression & anxiety and asks are we there yet?
Dr. Colman Noctor is a Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist in St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and an Assistant Professor at TCD. Here he discusses protecting mental health and promoting resilience amongst the contemporary challenges of the technological era and a culture of increasing stress and anxiety.
If you would like to do some further reading, please see Aware's Recommended Reading List.