Anxiety is a feeling that we all have on occasions, it is a feeling of unease, worry, fear, nervousness or tension. It can be a natural emotional response relating to what is going to happen or what we imagine could in the future such as starting a new school, job interview, moving house, going to the doctors or going on an aeroplane. Most people feel anxious at times. It’s particularly common to experience some anxiety while coping with stressful events or changes, especially if they could have a big impact on your life. Anxiety is a natural response to situations when you feel under threat and can be felt through physical sensations, thoughts or emotions. When under threat our bodies react by releasing certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which can be helpful. These hormones make our heart beat faster and make you feel more alert so you can act faster. Once the threat has passed your body releases other hormones to relax you. This reaction is a response to something which is frightening mentally or physically and commonly known as the Fight, Flight or Freeze response. The Fight, Flight or Freeze response acts as an internal alarm system, designed to protect you from danger in the wild however, anxiety may cause this response to be activated at inappropriate moments and you may feel this during normal, non-threatening situations.
Anxiety feels different for everyone; some symptoms of anxiety can be:
- Faster breathing
- Pounding heart or irregular heartbeat
- Tense muscles, sweating or shaking
- Tightening of the chest
- Racing thoughts
- Lack of concentration
- Panic Attacks
- Intrusive thoughts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Having a sense of dread
- Feeling like you can’t stop worrying
- Low mood
Anxiety can become a problem when it becomes stronger, intense and slowly starting to take over your life. Coming to counselling can help you to understand what may be causing your anxiety, and teach you some techniques.
Depression is a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness and loss of interest which can interfere with your everyday activities. We can all feel down from time to time however if you feel low regularly this could be depression, you may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
People can experience depression differently; some symptoms of depression can be:
- Down, upset or tearful
- Feeling numb and empty
- Feeling guilty, worthless and negative
- Isolating from others
- Finding no pleasure in things
- Changes in sleep patterns or appetite
- Loss of energy or tiredness
- Restless, agitated or irritable
- Feeling hopeless and despairing
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Coming to counselling can help you to open up and to see things more rationally.
Relationships whether romantic or a friendship can bring a great deal of happiness. However meaningful relationships can take a lot of time and effort to make them strong.
Sometimes relationships can break down, some reasons can be:
- Loss of connection
- Feelings of loneliness or disappointment
- Relationship doesn’t meet your expectations
- Expectations from others
- Loss of self in the relationship
- Pain of a betrayal or affair
Accessing counselling gives you the space to talk about your concerns and your needs, explore what you want from your relationship and help you to learn more about yourself.
Loss is an unavoidable part of life we experience. You can experience loss by the death of a loved one, loss of a pet, friendship, relationship, job and many more. Grief is a natural and normal emotional response to loss and happens during a time of bereavement. Bereavement is the time you spend adjusting to the loss you experience, there is no right or wrong way to feel during this time because everyone copes in their own way. Whatever the loss, you can feel an intense and overwhelming pain which can affect your feelings, thoughts and behaviours.
Counselling aims to help you find a place for your loss through gently listening and supporting you to work through your grief so you can carry on with your life and eventually find acceptance.