What is it?
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel fear, worry, uneasiness, and dread due to stressors in their life. Anxiety itself is a mood that can be brought about by many things, such as when facing problems at work, before taking a test, or making important decisions. Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They do not need a trigger to cause such emotions, and can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life.
Doctors recognize many types of anxiety disorders, such as:
Generalized Anxiety disorder: People with this condition experience excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety. Other common symptoms include restlessness, insomnia, a feeling of being “edgy”, trembling, an unrealistic view of problems, and difficulty concentrating.
Panic disorder: People have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. Other symptoms of a panic attack include sweating, chest pain, palpitations (feeling of irregular heartbeats), and a feeling of choking, which may make the person feel like he or she is having a heart attack or “going crazy.”
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): People with OCD are plagued by constant thoughts or fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions. One example is a person with an unreasonable fear of germs who constantly washes his or her hands.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event and can be emotionally numb.
Social anxiety disorder: Also known as “social phobia,” this condition involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.
Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as snakes, heights, or flying. The level of fear is unusually high and inappropriate to the situation and may affect a person’s ability to deal with everyday situations.
What are some of the symptoms of anxiety disorders?
Symptoms vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder, but general symptoms include:
Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
Repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences
An inability to be still and calm
Ritualistic behaviours, such as repeated hand washing
Insomnia or problems sleeping
Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
Numbness or tingling in the hands and/or feet
Shortness of breath
How common are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety is the most common and instantly crippling of disorders. In America about 4 million adult suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder during the course of a year. At least 20% of adult Americans, or about 60 million people, will suffer from panic attacks at some point in their lives. About 1.7% of adult Americans, or about 3 million people, will have full-blown panic disorder at some time in their lives. Most anxiety disorders occur slightly more often in women than in men.
The figuires for the UK are broadly similar, although a little higher. It seems that the prevalence and availability of Cognitive Behaviour techniques over the past two decades have had a dramatic effect in controlling and alleviating Anxiety in the US population. There are cultural considerations as well – in America Anxiety disorders are seen as a problem which can and should be solved, whereas in the UK people often live with the consequences of Anxiety disorders far longer and hence develop depression, stress, and other more pathological disorders before being diagnosed and seeking help. If caught early Anxiety treatment can prevent months, if not years of damage to families, careers, and interpersonal relationships. Less anxious people are – unsurprisingly – more successful, as well as being happier.
How does CBT work?
Cognitive-Behaviourial Therapy seeks to change the way a person feels and acts by changing the patterns of thinking, behaviour, or both, that are responsible for the anxiety.
In CBT, individuals learn to identify thoughts that make them feel afraid or upset and replace them with less distressing thoughts.
The goal is to understand how certain thoughts about events cause or worsen anxiety.
Why Instant CBT?
There are many reasons why Instant CBT is better than a traditional in-person appointment:
You set the appointment most convenient for you, rather than have to fit in someone else’s schedule.
Availability of highly-trained and nationally-accredited therapists no matter where your geographic location.
Save time and money by skipping travel.
Comfort of the environment you set, such as your own home.
The availability of followup and instant access to a counsellor, whenever you need.
What are your staff’s accreditations?
Our staff are board-certified doctors and therapists, accredited by the two governing bodies in the United Kingdom, BABCP and AREBT and local medical authorities.
We adhere to national guidelines and accreditations, and our staff have a combined experience of decades.