Anxiety & Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Anxiety is a condition that can affect anyone. It does not distinguish between age, background or social group. Even people who we would consider confident have been affected with anxiety.
In truth, anxiety affects all of us; we need it to survive, as it is the body’s natural and automatic response to fear. But it is a survival tool that needs to be managed and stay in balance – like the phrase, “everything is good in moderation”, if we have too much anxiety we can be disabled or another way of looking at it – cave man would never have eaten. Yet anxiety is helpful and useful and can help us achieve our goals.
Anxiety levels vary between people and unfortunately some people’s lives are dominated by negative experiences of anxiety. An estimated 1 in 6 people will experience some sort of anxiety disorder. 1 in 10 will experience a disabling anxiety disorder in their lifetime. 13% will develop a phobia during their life and 2.5% will experience OCD at some stage in their life.
Many anxiety disorders start in childhood and adolescence and the average time a person waits before they seek help is over 10 years – that’s a long time to feeling anxious! You may be able to pinpoint situations in which you feel more anxious or you can remember an event in your life that seems to have started it all. Either way, understanding your anxiety is the first important step in taking control of it again.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is an effective treatment to overcome and manage your anxiety. The first step is recognising and identifying your particular difficulty. Then you gain understanding of your own ‘cycle’ – your negative thoughts and your avoidance behaviours. Finally you learn new thoughts and make positive changes in your behaviour and you can begin to take control of your anxiety again.