It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, with a focus on relationships.
We’re taking a look at the symptoms of anxiety, what to look out for in our friends and family and what we can do to help.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Problems sleeping
- Tense muscles
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling sick
What is a panic attack?
A panic attack is an intense feeling of anxiety, which often happens with physical symptoms, including:
In most cases panic attacks are not dangerous, but anyone suffering from them should speak to a doctor if they happen regularly.
Types of anxiety
Anxiety can appear in different ways, including:
- Health anxiety – sufferers have a constant fear that they are suffering from illness. They may worry that they have a range of conditions, or obsess about one type of illness.
- OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder describes a condition that causes people to have obsessive thoughts, which leads to anxiety. Sufferers usually have a compulsive need to check things, a fear of contamination, problems with hoarding or repetitive, harmful thoughts.
- Phobias – people can suffer from anxiety about certain places, objects or social situations. Fears become phobias if they prevent sufferers from living a normal life. Common phobias include animals such as spiders, fear of being in certain situations, such as heights, and fear of medical procedures like having an injection.
- Generalised anxiety disorder – anxiety on most days, about many different things, can be very debilitating. Common symptoms include not being able to sleep, getting irritable quickly and feeling restless.
How can you help?
- Look out for the symptoms of anxiety in other people.
- Let someone with anxiety talk to you about their feelings and don’t brush them off as being small issues. To a sufferer of anxiety, even everyday things can cause stress.
- Encourage a sufferer to speak to their doctor. Cognitive behavioural therapy, or medication, may be helpful.
- If you think that you could make a difference to people who suffer from anxiety, then you might be a great counsellor.