Anxiety and Panic

Some would argue that anxiety is the ‘human predicament,’ summarised in one word. Others would disagree and suggest that it is an adaptable constant in the development of human personality. In fact, the exploration and understanding of anxiety are at the root of all forms of psychotherapy.

Causes of anxiety

Feeling unsafe: when there is a sense of feeling unsafe, a sense anxiety may feel like arising from external and/or internal sources. It is possible that that which makes us feel anxious may not be one ‘specific thing.’
Traumatic events: trauma can be experienced as one ‘significant event’ or through repeatedly feeling unsafe in relation to some aspect of your life. In both instances, our bodies may go into an alert mode, thus experiencing a constant sense of anxiety.
Permanent insufficiency: with higher expectations and ideals of oneself, some may experience a constant sense of ‘not being good enough,’ which in turn may lead to feelings of anxiety.
Complexity: psychological aspects of life is complex – anxiety is no different. Anxiety, in fact, might be related to anything in life depending on the mental perspective and consequent emotional response that one might have.

Common signs and symptoms of anxiety

Overwhelming emotions

Often anxiety is explored as a warning signal that a perceived danger is present and that overwhelming emotions may be felt, giving rise to unmanageable helplessness.

A sense of ‘unspecified something’

While the experience of anxiety is real and imminent, the roots of it can feel like unknown and vague.

A sense of malaise

Often anxiety is described as a feeling of dread or nauseous feeling of malaise. It is an experience that is felt in the body, sometimes described also as: butterflies in the stomach, pounding heart, heightened sense perceptions, unpleasant sensations of tension in different parts of the body, withholding of one’s breath, or a persistent sense of unease.

Unhealthy coping strategies

When the tension of our anxieties rise and we do not have the capacity to contain such intense sensations in our body and/or we do not know how to discharge it, then a sense of overwhelming need to find relief can potentially lead to attempts to discharge the tension in unhealthy ways. These can be unhealthy eating, dependence on substance and other unhealthy addictions.

How therapy can help with anxiety


Update the operating system

If you think of your mind and body as hardware and software of computer, then you might be able to see that over the years, driven by the need to survive, most of the time with very little awareness, you may have been operating a system that needs an update (analogous to a mobile phone device). Even though, your habitual Human Operating System, has done a good job so far, some aspects of it (anxious mode, for instance) may have now become maladaptive. Therapeutic space could be the laboratory where you design a new programme that saves you from anxiety.<br />


Clarifying space

Tormented by our incessant worries, we often develop maladaptive ways to seek relief from our anxieties; and though they provide some sense of safety, they invariably restrict our growth and experience. Therapeutic space provides you opportunity to name that which is unspecified.


Empowering tools

As we engage with life, it is nearly impossible to operate in a way that is completely devoid of anxious feelings. But through therapy, one can learn the nature of our mind and the nature one’s operating system. Besides, there are lots of simple but powerful tools that one can learn to handle anxious thoughts and feelings, rather than being dictated by them.


Mental challenges are complex, yet healing, recovery and empowerment is possible

Needless to say, the investigation of the what, why and the how of psychological issues can be complex and unique to every individual. As your being human is unique, your therapeutic journey will be unique too. It is important to know that mental challenges can be successfully treated. It is believed that all mental challenges arise from a combination of biological, psychological and social conditions. What this means is that any mental challenge is not simply caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain/body and may not be dealt with medication only.

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In order to explore your options in dealing with your anxiety through a therapeutic process, email us or please call us (between 9:00AM & 6:00PM from Monday to Saturday).