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Dr Colin Hicks

Integrative Psychotherapy
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Depression
Anxiety
Panic Attacks
Phobias
Stress
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Anxiety is a normal human experience. We all feel anxious at some point in our lives and it is normally fairly easy to manage. However for a significant minority anxiety can become a more serious problem. It can impact negatively on relationships, our performance at work and just general day-to-day activities such as shopping. When anxiety occurs at a high level it affects the way we think, it creates a range of unpleasant physical symptoms and often causes us to change our behaviour as a result. Unfortunately, all these changes only serve to reinforce and worsen the anxiety.

Anxiety can occur in many different situations. It can cause us to overplay the threat or danger which grows leading us to underplay our ability to cope with the problem. Our body reacts through the ‘flight or fight response’ with our heart rate increasing, muscle tension, butterflies in stomach, alertness to threat etc. We engage in behaviours to try and control or reduce anxiety but if these do not work then we are left with having to flee the situation and learn that in the future it must be avoided.

Ultimately, we end up becoming so oversensitive to the threat that we avoid any situation which causes us to become even slightly anxious, predicting that things will only worsen. Anxiety can sometimes elevate to such a point that a person experiences a panic attack. Anxiety and panic attacks often occur together as well as separately.

Therapy, in particular cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be used to help develop an understanding of one’s problems with anxiety as well as developing an approach to try to alleviate the symptoms associated with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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