Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.

During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.

But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.

Resources for Anxiety and Panic Attacks

What are anxiety disorders?

We all have feelings of anxiety, worry and fear sometimes. These can be normal responses to certain situations. For example, you might worry about a job interview, or about paying a bill on time. These feelings can give you an awareness of risks and what you need to do in a difficult or dangerous situation. This reaction is known as ‘fight or flight’.

Your brain responds to a threat or danger by releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Even if the danger is not real, these hormones cause the physical symptoms of anxiety. Once the threatening situation has stopped, your body will usually return to normal.

But if you have an anxiety disorder these feelings of fear and danger can be ongoing and interrupt your daily routine long after the threat has gone. They can make you feel as though things are worse than they actually are.

Everyone’s experience of anxiety disorders is different. Not everyone who has an anxiety disorder will experience the same symptoms.

Mental symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • racing thoughts,
  • uncontrollable over-thinking,
  • difficulties concentrating,
  • feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’,
  • feeling irritable,
  • heightened alertness,
  • problems with sleep,
  • changes in appetite,
  • wanting to escape from the situation you are in, and
  • dissociation.

If you dissociate you might feel like you are not connected to your own body. Or like you are watching things happen around you, without feeling it.

Physical symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • sweating,
  • heavy and fast breathing,
  • hot flushes or blushing,
  • dry mouth,
  • shaking,
  • hair loss,
  • fast heartbeat,
  • extreme tiredness or lack of energy
  • dizziness and fainting, and
  • stomach aches and sickness.

Anxiety can lead to depression if left untreated.

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Further links and resources for anxiety and panic attacks

Mind Guide to Anxiety and Panic Attacks

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/about-anxiety/

NHS – General Guidance on Anxiety

https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/mental-health-issues/anxiety/

NHS – Depression and Anxiety Test

https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/guides-tools-and-activities/depression-anxiety-self-assessment-quiz/

Support for Men with Anxiety

https://andysmanclub.co.uk/

Our My Wellbeing College

Local service which you can self-refer to, offering confidential psychological therapy services, helping you work through difficult feelings. Addressing issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression, relationship issues, sleep problems, phobias, difficult life changes, post-natal depression, post-traumatic stress , OCD, and health anxieties

https://bmywellbeingcollege.nhs.uk