“You never lose.  
Either you win, or you learn.”  
- Nelson Mandela 

Anxiety 

The role of the acute anxiety response is to keep you safe by increasing levels of awareness and producing fight, flight or freeze reactions. Your body is programmed to respond to any threats you perceive 'with immediate effect'. 
 
Whether the response takes the form of a full-blown panic attack or chronic worry, sustained anxiety begins to limit the potential of the individual. 
 
However, with an always anxious mind, you will find yourself feeling frightened or worried, even when there is no apparent threat. 
 
This survival tactic has been with us for 150 million years. 

Common Symptoms 

Feeling constantly tense, worried, or on edge. 
Interferes with work or school responsibilities. 
Plagued by irrational fears, you know are irrational. 
Difficulty concentrating and irritable. 
Avoid everyday situations or activities due to anxiety. 
Experience attacks of heart-pounding panic. 
Feel like there’s danger around every corner. 

Types of anxiety disorder 

 
If you feel very worried or nervous in your everyday life - even when there is little or no reason - you might be experiencing generalised anxiety disorder, also known as GAD. It often develops slowly, beginning during your teenage years or young adult life. 
 
You might find your anxiety so difficult to control that you feel unable to concentrate or stay focussed on your ordinary daily activities. You might worry excessively and feel nervous, restless, tired or irritable. Finding it difficult to relax, fall asleep or stay asleep are common concerns. 
 
Physically, you might be prone to headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches, or unexplained pains, sweating, light-headedness and breathlessness. You might find it hard to swallow, experience trembling and twitching or have digestive problems. 
 
Children and teens with GAD worry more about: 
 
School and sports performance 
Catastrophes, such as earthquakes or war 
 
Adults with GAD worry about everyday circumstances, such as: 
 
Job security or performance 
Health 
Finances 
The health and well-being of their children 
Being late 
Completing household chores and other responsibilities 
 
With help it is possible to manage your anxiety. You can learn how to relax, sleep restfully and move on from negative thoughts. 
 
Sudden feelings of terror when there is no real danger are known as panic attacks. Panic attacks are unpredictable and you might avoid places where they have happened because you are worried that they will return. Some people become so afraid that they don’t leave their home. 
 
During a panic attack you might feel as if you are losing control and have physical symptoms, including 
 
Rapid heartbeat. 
Stomach or chest pain. 
Difficulty breathing. 
Feeling weak. 
Feeling Dizzy. 
Tingling sensations. 
Numbness in the hands. 
Feeling hot and sweaty. 
Feeling cold and chilled. 
 
Panic disorder frequently starts during periods of stress, often in your young adult life. With help, you can learn how to recognise the warning signs and change your thinking patterns before they lead to a panic attack. 
 
If you have frequent, upsetting thoughts or obsessions and an overwhelming or compulsive urge to repeat certain behaviours to control your thoughts you could have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 
 
If you have OCD your thoughts and rituals will cause you distress and get in the way of your daily life. For example, you might fear germs or injury and compulsively wash your hands or check security. 
 
OCD can run in families, but life events including childbirth or bereavement and traumas such as bullying or abuse can also give rise to OCD. 
 
With help it is possible to deal with your fears and obsessive thoughts without the persistent cycle of behaviours to try to address them. 
 
If you are very fearful about something that is unlikely to be a real danger to you then you might have a phobia. 
 
Examples of phobias include being afraid of heights (acrophobia), public spaces (agoraphobia), or confined places (claustrophobia). If you are very anxious in social situations, you could have a social phobia. 
 
If you are unable to avoid your specific phobia you might experience acute panic and fear, with a rapid heartbeat, breathlessness, trembling and the need to get away. 
 
Phobias are not yet fully understood, but they can be successfully managed through desensitisation and relaxation. 
 
If you are so fearful that you avoid social situations where you might be judged by others then you might be experiencing social anxiety disorder or phobia. 
 
You might worry for days or even weeks about being watched or embarrassed at a party of event. You might avoid meeting new people, eating, drinking, writing or speaking in public. You might feel nauseous, find it difficult to talk, blush, sweat and tremble in social situations. It can become so severe that it interferes with your daily activities. 
 
Social anxiety is very different to avoiding social situations due to shyness. It is likely to affect your ability to function at work or in relationships. With help and advice, you can learn skills to address your worries and overcome your fears. 
 
Traumatic events and physical harm or abuse can leave you feeling stressed and afraid, even after the danger has passed. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to flashbacks when you relive the event. You might find it difficult to sleep and have vivid nightmares. You might feel lonely, irritable, worried, guilty or sad. 
 
PTSD can start soon after a frightening event or symptoms can appear months or years later. With support you can learn to understand the origins of your feelings and how to manage and minimise their effects. 
 
Children between the ages of six months to three years experience some separation anxiety as part of their development. 
 
If this anxiety continues into late childhood or adult life you might feel extreme fear or anxiety about being away from family and friends. You might feel that you are unable to function at school, at work or at home. 
 
You might become unreasonably worried that something will happen to you or the people you care about when you are apart. You might find it difficult to sleep when separated and even experience depression or panic attacks. 
 
Physically you might have aches and pains, headaches, and diarrhoea. 
 
By recognising and understanding your concerns about separation you can learn to manage your anxiety. 
The role of the acute anxiety response is to keep you safe by increasing levels of awareness and producing fight, flight or freeze reactions. Your body is programmed to respond to any threats you perceive 'with immediate effect'. 
 
Whether the response takes the form of a full-blown panic attack or chronic worry, sustained anxiety begins to limit the potential of the individual. 
 
However, with an always anxious mind, you will find yourself feeling frightened or worried, even when there is no apparent threat. 
 
This survival tactic has been with us for 150 million years. 
 

Common Symptoms 

Feeling constantly tense, worried, or on edge. 
Interferes with your abilities at work or school. 
Plagued by irrational fears that you know are irrational. 
Difficulty concentrating and irritable. 
Avoid everyday situations / activities due to anxiety. 
Experience attacks of heart-pounding panic. 
Feel like there’s danger around every corner. 

Types of anxiety disorder 

 
If you feel very worried or nervous in your everyday life - even when there is little or no reason - you might be experiencing generalised anxiety disorder, also known as GAD. It often develops slowly, beginning during your teenage years or young adult life. 
 
You might find your anxiety so difficult to control that you feel unable to concentrate or stay focussed on your ordinary daily activities. You might worry excessively and feel nervous, restless, tired or irritable. Finding it difficult to relax, fall asleep or stay asleep are common concerns. 
 
Physically, you might be prone to headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches, or unexplained pains, sweating, light-headedness and breathlessness. You might find it hard to swallow, experience trembling and twitching or have digestive problems. 
 
Children and teens with GAD worry more about: 
 
School and sports performance 
Catastrophes, such as earthquakes or war 
 
Adults with GAD worry about everyday circumstances, such as: 
 
Job security or performance 
Health 
Finances 
The health and well-being of their children 
Being late 
Completing household chores and other responsibilities 
 
With help it is possible to manage your anxiety. You can learn how to relax, sleep restfully and move on from negative thoughts. 
 
Sudden feelings of terror when there is no real danger are known as panic attacks. Panic attacks are unpredictable and you might avoid places where they have happened because you are worried that they will return. Some people become so afraid that they don’t leave their home. 
 
During a panic attack you might feel as if you are losing control and have physical symptoms, including 
 
Rapid heartbeat. 
Stomach or chest pain. 
Difficulty breathing. 
Feeling weak. 
Feeling Dizzy. 
Tingling sensations. 
Numbness in the hands. 
Feeling hot and sweaty. 
Feeling cold and chilled. 
 
Panic disorder frequently starts during periods of stress, often in your young adult life. With help, you can learn how to recognise the warning signs and change your thinking patterns before they lead to a panic attack. 
 
If you have frequent, upsetting thoughts or obsessions and an overwhelming or compulsive urge to repeat certain behaviours to control your thoughts you could have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). 
 
If you have OCD your thoughts and rituals will cause you distress and get in the way of your daily life. For example, you might fear germs or injury and compulsively wash your hands or check security. 
 
OCD can run in families, but life events including childbirth or bereavement and traumas such as bullying or abuse can also give rise to OCD. 
 
With help it is possible to deal with your fears and obsessive thoughts without the persistent cycle of behaviours to try to address them. 
 
If you are very fearful about something that is unlikely to be a real danger to you then you might have a phobia. 
 
Examples of phobias include being afraid of heights (acrophobia), public spaces (agoraphobia), or confined places (claustrophobia). If you are very anxious in social situations, you could have a social phobia. 
 
If you are unable to avoid your specific phobia you might experience acute panic and fear, with a rapid heartbeat, breathlessness, trembling and the need to get away. 
 
Phobias are not yet fully understood, but they can be successfully managed through desensitisation and relaxation. 
 
If you are so fearful that you avoid social situations where you might be judged by others then you might be experiencing social anxiety disorder or phobia. 
 
You might worry for days or even weeks about being watched or embarrassed at a party of event. You might avoid meeting new people, eating, drinking, writing or speaking in public. You might feel nauseous, find it difficult to talk, blush, sweat and tremble in social situations. It can become so severe that it interferes with your daily activities. 
 
Social anxiety is very different to avoiding social situations due to shyness. It is likely to affect your ability to function at work or in relationships. With help and advice, you can learn skills to address your worries and overcome your fears. 
 
Traumatic events and physical harm or abuse can leave you feeling stressed and afraid, even after the danger has passed. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to flashbacks when you relive the event. You might find it difficult to sleep and have vivid nightmares. You might feel lonely, irritable, worried, guilty or sad. 
 
PTSD can start soon after a frightening event or symptoms can appear months or years later. With support you can learn to understand the origins of your feelings and how to manage and minimise their effects. 
 
Children between the ages of six months to three years experience some separation anxiety as part of their development. 
 
If this anxiety continues into late childhood or adult life you might feel extreme fear or anxiety about being away from family and friends. You might feel that you are unable to function at school, at work or at home. 
 
You might become unreasonably worried that something will happen to you or the people you care about when you are apart. You might find it difficult to sleep when separated and even experience depression or panic attacks. 
 
Physically you might have aches and pains, headaches, and diarrhoea. 
 
By recognising and understanding your concerns about separation you can learn to manage your anxiety. 
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