Please rotate your device to view this page.

  • People Needing Support
  • Friends/Family Needing Support
  • South Western Sydney Mental Health Directory
  • A South Western Sydney Mental Health Resource

    For Friends/Family

    Information About Mental Illnesses

    Anxiety Disorders

    Click on any of the buttons below to view more information

    Signs and Symptoms

    Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.

    Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t go away – when they’re ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren’t easily controlled.

    Signs and Symptoms

    The symptoms of anxiety conditions are sometimes not all that obvious as they often develop slowly over time and, given we all experience some anxiety at various points in our lives, it can be hard to know how much is too much.

    Normal anxiety tends to be limited in time and connected with some stressful situation or event, such as a job interview. The type of anxiety experienced by people with an anxiety condition is more frequent or persistent, not always connected to an obvious challenge, and impacts on their quality of life and day-to-day functioning. While each anxiety condition has its own unique features, there are some common symptoms including:

    • Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy
    • Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, or obsessive thinking
    • Behavioural: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life

    (Reference: beyondblue)

    For more information about anxiety see: beyondblue – Anxiety 

    Treatment

    Important things to know about getting treatment for anxiety include:

    • there are lots of professionals to help you with anxiety
    • there are also many types of treatments for anxiety, and you can get better
    • you need a thorough check from a health professional before treatment is prescribed
    • many people who have had anxiety have been able to seek help and live active, fulfilling lives.

    Psychological therapies are the most effective way to treat and prevent the recurrence of most types of anxiety.

    There are three broad categories of treatment for anxiety, these include:

    • psychological treatments (talking therapies)
    • physical treatments (medications)
    • self-help and alternative therapies.

    Depending on the type of anxiety, self-help and alternative therapies can be helpful. They can be used alone or combined with physical and psychological treatments. A thorough assessment by your doctor is needed to decide on the best combination of treatments for you.

    (Reference: Black Dog Institute) 

    For more information about treatments for anxiety see:

    Black Dog Institute – Treatment for Anxiety 

    beyondblue – Treatments for Anxiety

    Who Can Help

    There are a number of Mental Health Professionals who can offer support. These professionals could include General Practitioners, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Nurses or Social Workers.

    For Further Information

    SANE Australia – Anxiety Disorder

    Black Dog Institute – Anxiety 

    beyondblue – A Guide to What Works for Anxiety (this is a 136 page book)

    Youthbeyondblue – Anxiety

    Reach Out – What is Anxiety? 

    headspace – Understanding Anxiety – for Young People

    headspace – Anxiety Fact Sheet