Anxiety Treatment Melbourne
It is normal to be nervous or stressed about an important event such as an exam, interview or performance. However, if you feel you worry excessively, to the point where it interrupts your day-to-day functioning, you may be suffering from anxiety.
“Does that person not like me? Did I leave the stove on? Did I offend that person? Oh no – I’m going to be late! How am I going to find parking? What if something goes wrong? What if I embarrass myself? It’s so hot in here! I need air and water because my mouth is so dry! My heart is beating outside of my chest – am I going to have a heart attack? Everyone is looking at me. Can they tell I’m nervous? My work friend hasn’t arrived yet – I hope he hasn’t had a car accident! I have 3 assignments due next week, how am I going to cope? Do these thoughts sound familiar to you? If so, you might be suffering from anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a general term for several mental illnesses characterized by consistent or irrational worrying. Anxiety disorders take various forms, from an all-pervasive form known as generalized anxiety disorder to panic disorder, to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more specific phobias. Social anxiety and PTSD are reported as the most common anxiety disorders amongst Australians.
The Biological Factors That May Cause Anxiety Include:
- Genetics, such as a history of anxiety in the family or a shy and withdrawn temperament.
- Chemical imbalances, such as decreased levels if serotonin or increased dopamine.
- Environmental factors may include:
- A negative or overprotective parenting style.
- Experiencing traumatic events such as physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
- Long-term stress
- Learning anxiety from anxious family members/parents
- Being bullied or neglected
- Experiencing poor social reactions in childhood
- Experiencing small or large changes –e.g. changing a job or experiencing a divorce.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety feels different depending on the person experiencing it. Feelings can range from butterflies in the stomach to a racing heart or feeling out of control. While the physiological, psychological or behavioural symptoms vary for each type of anxiety, some general physiological signs include:
- Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Erratic sleeping patterns
- Inability to stay still
- Lack of concentration
- Cold or sweaty hands or feet
- Vomiting or nausea
- Dry mouth
- Inability to talk
- Numbness or tingly sensation in the hands or feet
- Muscle tension
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart palpitations
Does Anxiety Get Worse Over Time if Left Untreated?
Left untreated, the effects of anxiety disorders will infiltrate every aspect of a person’s life. Long-term consequences of untreated anxiety disorders will vary from person to person based upon individual genetics, the presence of co-occurring disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, and symptom severity. Long-term effects of anxiety disorders may include substance abuse and addiction, social isolation, increased physical health problems, self-harm and even suicidal thoughts.
Is Anxiety Disorder Curable?
Anxiety is a chronic condition that can take many forms, and while there is no cure, with a proper anxiety management plan tailored to the specific needs of the individual, most people with OCD, phobias, and panic disorder improve greatly within the first weeks or months of treatment. Many people with PTSD and GAD can also make substantial improvement, and some symptoms of anxiety disorder may even diminish with age. With a combination of medication and therapy, most people with anxiety disorders learn to control their symptoms and live a normal and comfortable life.
How Does Therapy Help with Anxiety?
Psylegal Melbourne provides anxiety management therapy that helps you learn how to control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you. Some common treatments for anxiety include:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – one of the most effective in treating individuals with various mental health problems, including anxiety. It involves teaching individuals how to identify the automatic negative thoughts and beliefs that cause their anxiety.
Systematic desensitisation is a therapeutic technique effective in treating anxiety disorders, particularly phobias. It involves exposing an individual to their fear whilst they practice relaxation techniques, in a safe environment.
Flooding also known as “exposure therapy” or “prolonged exposure therapy” is similar to systematic desensitization. However, rather than it being an incremental process, the anxious individual is presented with their fear in the most threatening way they could imagine. Whilst this may technique is quick and still effective, it can be fairly traumatizing for the patient.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness. Deep breathing can be extremely beneficial for calming individuals, especially those experiencing symptoms such as heart palpitations, as it will bring back their usual heart rate. Mindfulness and meditation is effective in helping an individual focus on the here and now, improving their self-awareness, and accepting negative feelings and thoughts without letting them take over. Relaxation techniques can be extremely effective in helping an individual cope with the symptoms of anxiety, in turn, making them feel more in control.
The psychologists at Psylegal are very experienced and knowledgeable. They are aware that each anxiety disorder is different, and therefore are effective in providing you with treatment tailored to your needs. If you feel you may be suffering from anxiety and would like help, give us a call today on 1300 79 22 09. The sooner you seek treatment, the better!
Medicare rebates are available. You will need a referral from your doctor.