With anxiety the most common mental health condition presenting in my clinic, it's the perfect topic to explore for this year's mental health awareness week.
Anxiety is defined as a feeling of unease, worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Anxiety can be triggered by one specific event or thing, e.g. an exam or job interview or be a general day to day feeling that interferes with your ability to focus and feel well and get on with your day, which is known General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
There are multiple reasons why people experience anxiety. Some of these reasons are:
- being overstimulated and not enough rest - e.g. working too hard with not enough self-care/downtime
- trauma (unresolved life experiences) that keep us on edge and overly reactive to danger
- a genetic predisposition to anxiety
- family trauma passed down through the generations
- hormone imbalances - low seretonin and high cortisol levels, low thyroid hormones and/or low oestrogen for women and testosterone for men
- imbalanced gut biome and inflamed gut
- history of drug or alcohol misuse
- a health condition - e.g. heart disease, asthma or diabetes
- a side effect of medication
- no obvious cause.
The first step to addressing anxiety is to acknowledge you are experiencing it. Every day this week I will be sharing a tried and tested way you can support yourself or another with anxiety issues. These compliment any support your health care practitioner gives, and form the basis of living a healthy and balanced life. Feel free to add your questions about anxiety below and I will do my best to cover them in this week's posts.