What is an Anxiety Disorder?
The term Anxiety disorder is really a general term for a group of disorders that share a variety of anxiety related conditions. All of the anxiety disorders have one symptom in common, an excessive worry or fear about something that would not usually bother most people. The symptoms of anxiety are both psychological and physical in nature. Each individual anxiety disorder refers to a group of anxiety symptoms and specific anxiety triggers. Panic Disorder for example will cause an increased heart-rate, breathing difficulties and often accompanied by a sense of dread and being out of control. In many respects the anxiety disorder categories are artificial divisions, as the underlying mechanism of the anxiety at a physiological and neurological level is similar between the different anxiety disorders, and they only really differs in terms of the thought processes that cause and maintain the anxiety. Due to the somewhat artificial nature of the anxiety disorder categories, people will often find that their symptoms will not fit neatly into any one single disorder, as they will often be experiencing symptoms of more than one anxiety disorder at the same time. The actual cause of the anxiety itself can often be complex and unclear, as it usually arises from a combination of a persons psychological history, environmental factors, and genetic predisposition.
Symptoms of anxiety may include:
PLEASE NOTE: If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms then get them checked out by a doctor right away. Panic attacks and anxiety can mimic a number of physical conditions, and it is important for you to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. Do not self diagnose.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder is persistence and excessive anxiety or worry about events or activities which may or may not happen.
Panic Disorder is the fear of having a spontaneous panic attack. The intensity of the attack can be extremely severe and many people feel they are having a heart attack and/or are going to die or are going insane. Many people develop panic disorder following a major life stress or a build up of stress. Major life stress can include a death of a loved one, moving home, loss of employment, relationship problems, financial problems, a physical illness, birth of a child etc.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the experience of obsessive, unwanted thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours. This can include repetitive behaviours such as cleaning, checking, counting, repeating words silently, or hand washing.
Social Anxiety is the experience of fear, anxiety or panic in social situations. People may fear embarrassing themselves or making a fool of themselves in some way.
Specific Phobias are an excessive fear about a specific thing (animals, heights, flying, blood etc.) The object or situation is avoided or provokes extreme anxiety. People with an anxiety disorder can also experience a number of different symptoms as a result of their disorder.
Somatoform Disorder is a fear of having a serious, yet undiagnosed health condition. Often accompanied by obsessive checking of the body. Visits to the doctor and other specialists only provide temporary reassurance before doubts creep back in. More commonly referred to as Hypochondria.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the experience, or witness of, or confrontation with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death, or serious injury, or threat of physical injury of self or others. The major feature of PTSD is the reliving of the event through dreams, nightmares or flashbacks.
Commonly treated examples of anxiety are public speaking anxiety, performance anxiety, social anxiety, blushing, interview anxiety, exam nerves, health anxiety, fear of flying, financial and economic worries and driving anxiety.
A panic attack may be experienced with any of the anxiety disorders and is a sudden rush of intense and uncomfortable physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, nausea, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, inability to concentrate, and confusion. Which is coupled with negative thoughts about the situation (e.g. making a scene, looking foolish, having a heart attack, not being able to breathe etc.). Symptoms of panic attacks can include palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath or smothering, feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness or light-headedness, derealisation or depersonalisation, fear of losing control or going ‘crazy’, fear of dying, paresthesia, and chills or hot flushes.
The treatment for anxiety disorders in Manchester is highly individualised to your unique requirements, so the exact form of treatment and number of sessions will vary from person to person. However for very specific anxieties, you could be feeling considerably better in as little as 6-8 sessions. For more deep rooted, chronic or complex anxieties, longer term therapy will be be required. The overall aim of this process is to help you to experience a deep permanent change in how you think and feel. So that you no longer feel anxious, which then allows you to feel comfortable and at ease, and even enjoy situations which used to cause you anxiety and fear. During the process we will address whatever issues need to be dealt with to enable you to overcome your anxiety.
The treatment process itself is relaxed, sensitive, respectful and non-judgemental. The approach is integrative, and treatment combines elements of Contemporary Psychotherapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Self Relations Psychotherapy, Counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Gestalt, Hypnotherapy, mindfulness and life coaching which are individually recognised as highly successful ways of changing peoples behaviours and perceptions and I’m sure you can imagine the amazing benefits of combining these powerful techniques, allowing you to quickly and easily change the thoughts and behaviours you currently have so you just find yourself changing in beneficial ways.
A few of the possible changes that can help reduce and overcome your anxiety:
- Changing limiting beliefs and building powerful empowering beliefs.
- Changing your perceptions of others, and what you think they think of you.
- Positively changing your perceptions of past events and future worries.
- Change what you feel about yourself and your abilities.
- Building your self-esteem, self-worth and self confidence.
- Disassembling of the negative feedback loops, and self reinforcing and self sustaining aspects of the anxiety.
- Emotional state management.
- Learning to relax/ground/centre yourself so you can stay more in the moment.
About the Author
Nigel Magowan is a professional and experienced Solution-Focused Integrative Psychotherapist, Life Coach, a Licensed NLP Master Practitioner, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Nigel has trained with some of the best trainers and combines all his training, skills and experience to produce a treatment that is tailored to your exact needs. He uses a flexible integrative solution focused approach to his work which can bring about results in a much shorter time.
Since 2002 he has had his own busy full-time Psychotherapy, Counselling, Life Coaching, NLP and Hypnotherapy practice in Chorlton, South Manchester. Within easy traveling distance of Altrincham, Bolton, Didsbury, Eccles, Fallowfield, Gatley, Glossop, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Manchester City Centre, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale, Sale, Salford, Stockport, Stretford, Urmston, Whalley Range, Wilmslow, Withington, Worsley and other towns in Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and the Greater Manchester and the North West area.
He specialises in helping people with anxiety, panic attacks, stress management, addictions, anger, IBS, depression, pain control, confidence and self esteem, insomnia, public speaking and performance anxiety, fears, phobias, eating disorders, and study and sport performance enhancement.
He is a a UKCP Candidate in Training; a full member of the Community for Contemporary Psychotherapy; a senior member of the General Hypnotherapy Register, a full member of the Hypnotherapy Association; an Approved Anxiety UK Therapist; a Professional Member of the Association for Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ANLP); the NHS Directory of Complementary & Alternative Practitioners; the UK Register of IBS Therapists; an Approved Anxiety UK Therapist.
He practices according to the Community for Contemporary Psychotherapy, General Hypnotherapy Standards Council, ANLP and Hypnotherapy Associations code of ethics, and has full Professional Indemnity Insurance.