Helping Anxiety & Panic with Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy, Cognitive Therapy at 1066 Therapy
covering East Sussex, Battle, Hastings, Bexhill, Rye, Heathfield, Hailsham, Eastbourne, Crowborough, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Ashford and Kent.
I am often consulted for help with all sorts of anxiety problems or disorders at my practice just outside of Battle, East Sussex. I have successfully helped many people with anxiety and/or panic problems using the appropriate therapy for them.
I am most often asked for help with the type of anxiety known as social anxiety. Almost as common as social anxiety is general anxiety or ‘generalised anxiety disorder’, GAD for short. This is a near constant anxiety without there being a specific cause (as with a phobia, say). We just feel ‘edgy’ a lot of the time without knowing why. We may have a sense of ‘something bad about to happen’. We may worry about a lot of things. We may say we’re ‘an anxious person’ or ‘I am a worrier, I can’t help it’ or ‘It’s just the way I am’. None of those statements are true though, because this is NOT something we have to live with or that we can’t change. We aren’t ‘an anxious person’, rather we are people who feel anxious or who worry when there’s no real need to, and THAT can be changed.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is part of our survival (fight/flight/freeze) response. It is our physical experience – those butterflies in the tummy, or a tight chest, say – of our brain warning us of possible threat or danger (to life and limb). It can be activated by all sorts of people and events in our everyday life without us being aware of how or why. All we are aware of is the result – feeling anxious, worried, or panicky. Almost always there is no real threat or danger present, so why are we feeling anxious?
What Causes Anxiety?
Neuroscientific research over recent decades has found that the feeling of anxiety is caused by having a dysregulated nervous system. This is most often caused by past events which have been negative, distressing, emotionally overwhelming, or traumatic in some way – and therefore dysregulating to our nervous system. The emotional memories of such event(s) are stored in a part of the brain called the limbic system, which is where our survival response is activated. The events are often long forgotten by the time we develop anxiety problems.
A dysregulated nervous system causes inner discomfort and that sense of ‘something bad about to happen’. Often we will not be aware of any inner discomfort, because the way we feel inside is our ‘normal’. Anxiety is also known as ‘irrational fear’ and can be triggered by specific things, as with phobias.
What Causes Panic?
Sometimes anxiety may escalate to feelings of panic. The intense feelings of panic are caused when we are fully ‘triggered’ into our survival response. Usually this happens in an otherwise ordinary, everyday situation. Triggers are usually ‘sensory experiences’ (i.e. a sight, sound, smell, taste, action, or bodily sensation) which somehow remind the limbic system of our unresolved emotional memories. Triggers can be diverse, so it can be difficult to pinpoint them although we can work on this. Of course, the vast majority of everyday situations are not actually life-threatening, so a survival response is not needed. However once triggered, our limbic system will still ‘sound the alarm’ AS IF we are in real danger, until such time that the emotional conflict or trauma is resolved.
Over time, anxiety or panic may increase to the point where it can have a significant impact on our life. It is quite common then to gradually limit or control our lifestyle in an attempt to avoid, as far as possible, any situations which might ‘trigger’ our anxiety or panic.
Some therapies, including Suggestion Therapy, counselling, CBT, NLP and EFT (tapping), can offer some relief by aiming for a control of anxiety symptoms. This is usually achieved by the input of positive suggestions, or teaching coping mechanisms or other tools/techniques. However, often this isn’t enough and many people prefer to aim for a resolution to the underlying causes – the unresolved emotions, and experiences.
I offer different approaches to help anxiety and the choice of which one (or more) to take depends on the individual and their circumstances – the decision is usually made during the initial consultation.
Please browse my site for information on the various therapies / approaches that I practise.
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Call me now on 07722783490 or 01424 772392 to book your free 30 minute initial consultation.