Anxiety - it's time to change the stigma associated with it
Half of UK adults say they wouldn’t tell their boss about their anxiety or depression. The survey of 1,104 full-time employees by BBC Radio 5 Live also found that only 35% would be happy to tell colleagues.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger. Normal worry is common and aids motivation to deal with issues.
However, anxiety disorders are persistent and interfere with daily life and prevent people functioning normally. They can occur in multiples and with other problems such as depression. Indeed the anxiety disorder can often be overlooked altogether by healthcare professionals.
Anxiety disorders can range in severity from mild, where you are still able to function normally in day to day life, to severe when you are unable to work or function. Moderate anxiety is functioning somewhere between the two.
There are a number of anxiety disorders including:
1. Generalised anxiety disorder - this is common and the main feature is excessive worry about a number of different events associated with heightened tension.
2. Social anxiety - such as fear of speaking, eating, drinking, or performing in public.
3. Panic disorder with or without agoraphobia - these involve repetitive attacks of severe anxiety and constant worry about having another attack. The symptoms of a panic attack are very frightening and distressing and can be so intense that they can mimic severe physical health problems such as a heart attack. Agoraphobia is fear in places or situations from which escape may be difficult in the event of having a panic attack.
4. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) - unpleasant and distressing obsessions that repeatedly enter a person’s mind and/or repetitive behaviours or mental acts to reduce anxiety.
5. Body dysmorphic disorder - having a distorted view of how you look and worrying about your physical appearance.
6. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - this is caused by very frightening stressful or distressing events.
Common mental health disorders such as those set out above together with depression may affect up to 15% of the population at any one time.
Sadly, many people are unwilling to admit to themselves or others that they are suffering for a variety of reasons including a perception of stigma associated with anxiety disorders and worries about implications at work, home, socially etc.
As a result, many people delay or avoid seeking treatment. Isn’t it time to change?
It is important for your GP to rule out physical conditions first when assessing for anxiety disorders.
However, if there is no physical cause then people who suffer from mild to moderate anxiety can with education and hypnotherapy support, regain control and overcome their anxiety.
Hypnotherapy can help you:
- Deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way.
- Teach you coping strategies to use if and when you need them.
- Relax and address the underlying causes of your anxiety in a safe and effective manner.
For too long, too many people have been afraid to discuss their mental health. I admire the young royals – Prince William and Prince Harry for speaking out and promoting awareness and acceptance of mental health issues.
Isn't it time to change the stigma associated with anxiety?
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About Philippa Selby
Philippa Selby is passionate about helping people to live the life they want to, rather than feeling overwhelmed and held back in their lives. She is an experienced and well qualified clinical hypnotherapist and an Anxiety UK approved therapist who offers hypnotherapy to help people all ages deal with a vast array of issues.