We all know what anxiety feels like, and often we understand why we are feeling anxious at particular times. But what about when we feel it nearly all of the time, when we do not understand our feelings, or when it becomes overwhelming? If this carries on for too long many areas of our life will be affected and we may also become depressed

Why do we get anxiety?

It may be that we feel anxious because there is something we need to address. This might be in our external world, such as being brave enough to end a relationship which is no longer good for us, or perhaps changing job. It may be in our internal world, for example we may have experienced a significant bereavement or abuse which we have not been able to deal with. We may have tried to bury thoughts and feelings about this from ourselves, and our anxiety may be a nagging reminder that this is still there.  It could also be a combination of these two, such as needing to be more assertive but the reasons for this lack of assertion being linked to past issues which we have not resolved.

Why does anxiety get so bad?

Sometimes the way in which we interpret our anxiety can make things worse still. An example of this is when sensations of anxiety are interpreted as being catastrophic in some way. This catastrophic thinking will lead to a further increase in anxiety and could lead to a panic attack. Because no-one likes to feel highly anxious it is understandable that many people find ways to avoid the feelings by avoiding the activities that trigger them. This is how many phobias develop and become worse over time.

Which therapy for anxiety?

The type of therapy which would be useful for you will depend on the nature of your anxiety and your own beliefs about what you think would be helpful for you. Take a look at our pages on different types of therapy to see what might help you, or feel free to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to discuss this further. 

 If your anxiety includes having panic attacks you may find the pages of “No Panic” useful.