Anxiety conditions are one of the most widespread mental health conditions in Australia, affecting almost one in seven people each year, and one in four people in their lifetime.

Each individual’s experience of anxiety and other related conditions is unique and vastly different. Symptoms can have significant impacts on one’s ability to live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Behavioural symptoms of anxiety

One of the most noticeable symptoms for an individual experiencing an anxiety disorder is the presence of panic attacks. These “episodes” of heightened distress may entail physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling of the hands, nausea and sweating. Similarly, these symptoms may arise consistently in the lack of any discernible threat, and also point to an underlying anxiety condition.

Significant avoidance behaviours may also indicate an anxiety disorder, in which a person may make great attempts to avoid a situation that may cause panic or feelings of anxiety.  Psychological symptoms such as “racing” or “spiralling” thoughts, as well as exaggeration of danger are also common.

Underlying contributors to anxiety conditions

Anxiety conditions are not often developed by a single cause, but often by numerous “triggers” or experiences that are left unresolved. Ongoing stressful circumstances or environment, genetic predisposition, substance use and personality features may all contribute to a developing anxiety condition.

Treatment for anxiety conditions

A multidisciplinary approach is the most effective way to overcome anxiety and it’s manifestations. This approach could entail a variety of psychological techniques, medical and psychiatric support, nutritional adjustments and physical exercise. Emotional and psychological therapies aim to shift an individual’s perspective towards a more positive mindset, in addition to equipping them with tools and coping strategies.

Anxiety is a manageable condition, in which people can be equipped with the strategies and tools to live a healthy and fulfilling life.