Anxious in Hastings?

My experience of practising counselling in Hastings leads me to believe that anxiety is a natural human emotion. Life in inherently uncertain and so some level of anxiety is not only to be expected, but might even be seen as healthy.

But if anxiety is a natural part of being alive, the more anxiety that people feel, the more they are likely to be tipped over into real anxiety disorders, such as panic, phobias and obsessive behaviours, and to experience poor emotional well-being, personal distress and possibly depression. 

New data from a YouGov survey of adults in Britain on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation shows that:

•                  Nearly 1 in 5 people (19%) feel anxious a lot or all the time and, for this group, anxiety is something that almost two-thirds (61%) experience on a daily basis. 

•                  Young people (1 in 5) and the unemployed (1 in 4) are more likely to feel anxious a lot or all the time.

•                  The survey reveals the worrying levels of potentially harmful coping strategies adopted by many people. Only 7% of people say they visit their GP to cope with feelings of anxiety, while a quarter (24%) comfort eat and nearly 1 in 5 (18%) “hide away from the world”.

•                  The prevalence of stigma continues to prevent people from seeking help. More than 1 in 4 (26%) agreed that feeling anxious is a sign of not being able to cope and 29% say they would be embarrassed to tell someone they have anxieties.

•                  Over half (57%) of people wish they could be less anxious and nearly a half (48%) say anxiety has sometimes stopped them from doing things.

Ideally, we would all have the resources to find a way of dealing with the anxiety which comes up when life is throwing difficulties at us. But for an increasing number of people anxiety is a real problem, one which feels as though it might be overwhelming. Anxiety at this level can have a distressing and debilitating impact on our lives and impact on our physical as well as mental health.

 As a counsellor in the Hastings area, I find that anxiety often lies at the base of the issues which clients present with. In some cases, medication can help to ease that anxiety. For others, counselling can be an effective complement or substitute, in particular to assist clients to understand where their anxiety comes from. That way, they can be helped to find lasting ways of reducing and managing that anxiety.

added at 12:06am on 27th June 2014

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