Counselling Psychologists Sydney / Anxiety / Do I have an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety Checklist - do you suffer from:

Answer yes or no to the following questions
Fast onset of intense feelings of fear, terror or impending doom.
Increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Sweating.
Shaking/trembling.
Shortness of breath.
Feeling like you are choking.
Muscle tension – jitters, jumpiness.
Irritability.
Nausea.
Tingling in your hands, feet, legs or arms.
Feeling like you cannot get help if you need it.
Feeling like you need to check routine things, like locking the door or turning off the oven.
Impatience.
Overly concerned without true cause about dying or financial ruin.
Fear of losing control.
Chills or hot flashes.
Avoiding places where you have felt anxious before.
Hypervigilance or constant scanning for potential problems or threats.
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Your Score

You have answered yes to question(s)

If you answered yes to some or many of these symptoms and these anxiety symptoms occur repeatedly over a period of time in your life, you may have an anxiety disorder.

If you answered yes to some or many of these symptoms and these anxiety symptoms occur repeatedly over a period of time in your life, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Types of anxiety disorders

There are several different types of anxiety disorders, ranging from simple or specific phobias to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (This article is electronically protected – Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)

Simple/specific phobias

These are fears that often are about very specific things such as fear of flying, fear of rats, fear of spiders, etc. These fears may surface in childhood or in early adulthood and may be the result of specific events in a person’s life or fears expressed by someone close to them.

Panic attacks

A panic attack is an intense feeling of discomfort that may feel like a heart attack. It is typified by a racing heart, increased blood pressure, tingling in the hands and shortness of breath. Often, people who have panic attacks do not understand what has triggered the attack and they may have attacks without warning. Once a person has suffered one panic attack, the problem is often compounded by a constant fear of another attack.

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder that is marked by an inability to be in places where help or escape may not be easily accessible. For example, a person with agoraphobia may have difficulty leaving their home or being in open spaces.

Social anxiety disorder/social phobia

This anxiety disorder is marked by extreme discomfort in social situations. Although many people are uncomfortable in social situations where they do not know others, people with social phobia will take extreme measures to avoid social events where they must be around groups of people they do not know. Such people can also have a fear of being in crowds.

Obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a disorder in which ritual and repetition are constant. A person with this type of anxiety may repeatedly wash their hands, go back to their home to check if the door is locked or may have the impulse and need to count all of their money repeatedly.

Post traumatic stress disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is the direct result of experiencing a traumatic event in which the person felt they were potentially in danger or going to die. PTSD is characterized by flashbacks, difficulty with concentration, sleep disturbance, jitters, easy startle response and avoidance of situations that are similar to the traumatic event. Experiences of war are a common example of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (This article is electronically protected – Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)

Acute anxiety

Acute anxiety disorder is often the immediate result of being exposed to a traumatic event. Unlike PTSD, this is the anxiety that immediately follows the event, while PTSD occurs over the course of several months or even years after the traumatic event occurred. Acute anxiety has many of the same symptoms, including feeling detached from emotions, inability to recall details of the trauma, avoidance of similar events or activities and sleep interruptions.

Generalised anxiety disorder

Generalised anxiety disorder, or GAD, is an ever-present feeling of anxiety that exists for no real or apparent reason. It can be mild, but is usually constant Individuals with GAD worry about everything all the time and cannot control their responses. They may feel keyed up or on edge, have problems going to sleep or be easily irritated.

Counselling for anxiety disorders

All of these anxiety disorders are distressing to experience and difficult for the person affected. The good news is that therapy with a qualified psychologist has an excellent success rate in helping to treat anxiety problems. Counselling for anxiety will often involve two elements. One is finding practical ways to calm your nerves and may include such things as exercise, meditation, hobbies, or alternative thinking processes. The other looks at the underlying causes of your anxiety, and will give consideration to past traumatic experiences and your upbringing for clues to help explain your anxious mode of being. Medication can also be a useful way to combat anxiety disorders although it is recommended in conjunction with regular counselling. (This article is electronically protected – Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)

Seeking help for anxiety issues

If you or someone you care about is experiencing an anxiety disorder or is suffering from some of the symptoms listed above, you or they may benefit from talking with a qualified professional counsellor. If you would like further information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney.

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