Stress is a natural part of life; without it the human race would probably not have survived, since it is part of our innate response to risk and danger. You have probably heard about the “fight or flight” response – that is stress in action and it is designed to keep us alive. Nevertheless, an excess or build up of stress can lead to frustration, an inability to cope, illness or in extreme cases depression or even death. Anxiety is really just another name for stress, but some people find that they become anxious only in certain situations, and it can feel like uncontrollable fear.
Panic attacks are usually caused by anxiety and can be very debilitating for sufferers. Sometimes anxiety can manifest itself physically –common symptoms are headaches, backaches, abdominal pains, digestive problems, breathlessness or breathing difficulties, increased heart rate, excess sweating, flushing or blushing, weight gain or loss.
Low mood is a type of mild depression that can be difficult to shake off, however severe or clinical depression is a very serious condition and sufferers should always first seek medical advice. Episodic depression can be triggered off by stressful life events, with bereavement, divorce or separation, redundancy, illness, life uncertainty and becoming a parent being common factors.
If your doctor cannot find any physical cause for your problem and tells you it is probably stress-related, there’s no need to think that you cannot do anything about it. Stress, anxiety and low mood can be very successfully addressed with various therapeutic techniques. The aim of therapy is to help you to reframe your life in more positive ways and to be able to cope with the challenges that life throws at you. Related physical problems can also be successfully addressed or managed.
“Everything is going really well […] we are moving house in the next couple of weeks […] I haven’t been feeling overly anxious with all that’s going on so I’m happy […] I just want to say thank you so much for everything you have helped me with, it has been invaluable.” Female client, 25, anxiety and flushing
“[…] This time to help with the stress and pressures brought about by being involved with a small family business, which were reaching breaking point. Thanks to you, after just a few sessions, I now feel far more positive about handling situations and more able to cope with the stress. I also feel free of the negative emotions that were preventing me from reaching my goals.” Male client, stress and behavioural issues