Understanding – What is Anxiety?

In this blog we look at what is anxiety,
understanding the causes and the symptoms.

Understanding – What is Anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a huge topic, there are so many forms of it, and it affects everyone in different ways. It all stems from the body’s natural flight and fight response. The body releases adrenaline and cortisol when we feel stressed and under threat. These hormones are a primal response designed to help us deal with danger by preparing the body to fight off an attacker or run from them.

Most of us are lucky in that the physical threats we face on a daily basis are few and far between. In the modern world, we face stresses of a different kind. School, work, social situations, even elements of everyday life can all create pressure on us which can trigger the flight or fight instinct.

This natural response can become overwhelming, so much so that it becomes a problem affecting daily life. It can manifest in a whole variety of ways affecting different people more in different situations, but there are techniques to help, and support available for those that need it.

Types of Anxiety

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, usually differentiated around what triggers your anxiety:

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
    When you worry about many different problems rather than one specific focus.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
    Where social situations are particularly difficult when engaging with others.
  • Panic Disorder
    When regular or frequent panic attacks can’t be attributed to a clear trigger.
  • Phobias
    Cause extreme, irrational fears or anxiety of particular situations or objects which are unlikely to cause harm.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    Experiencing anxiety after going through a traumatic event. It can cause flashbacks or nightmares which feel like you are re-living the traumatic event.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    When anxieties are based around repetitive behaviours and thoughts.
  • Health Anxiety
    Being overly concerned and obsessed with illness, which can include researching symptoms and feeling as though you have something wrong with you.
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
    Having obsessions around your appearance, often due to incorrect perceptions, thinking that you are too fat or too thin when you are in fact a healthy weight.
  • Perinatal Anxiety or Perinatal OCD
    Can develop during and following pregnancy

HFHC Midlands can provide one-to-one support to help with all forms of anxiety, whether you need 24 hour assistance, or support for just a couple of hours a day. For more information, view our Mental Health Support page or get in touch.

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