Co-occurring Anxiety Treatment in Woking

Whilst it is natural for all of us to experience worry and anxiety on occasions, when these emotions are very intense or are experienced over a prolonged period of time, it may be that you have developed an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions that can become apparent in a variety of ways, ultimately reducing an individual’s wellbeing and having a debilitating effect on their ability to function effectively on a daily basis.

I think I need treatment for co-occurring anxiety, how can Life Works help me?

Anxiety can be a devastating condition for many people, and when this condition co-occurs alongside an addiction or eating disorder, it can cause a whole host of problems. However, at Life Works, our experts recognise that comprehensive, professional treatment can alleviate most, if not all, of the distress associated with anxiety disorders. Our bespoke Life Works anxiety treatment programmes empower our clients to increase self-awareness, helping them to identify triggers for their anxiety, and enable the development of effective lifelong coping strategies. Our holistic approach to anxiety treatment at our specialist clinic means that not only do we treat the symptoms and physical manifestations of anxiety and its associated disorders, but also means that we tackle the underlying issues that caused the anxiety to develop in the first place. 

We understand that individuals suffering with anxiety find themselves having to deal with persistent and chronic symptoms of what can be a devastating mental health condition, which often requires professional help to overcome. As such, our Surrey-based experts are dedicated to providing comprehensive help for co-occurring anxiety to each and every one of our clients, helping you to address the source and symptoms of your anxiety, and ultimately equipping you with the skills to regain control of your life, health and wellbeing.

If you require treatment for anxiety as a standalone condition, this can be provided at our sister site, Priory Hospital Woking.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?

The symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person as well as according to the type of anxiety that you are struggling with alongside your addiction or eating disorder. However, there are a series of anxiety symptoms that are common to all types, and can manifest either physically or psychologically:

Physical symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Shaking and palpitations
  • Hot or cold flushes
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Nausea
  • Loose bowels and frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle tension and tiredness
  • Changes in appetite resulting in weight fluctuation
  • Sleep disturbances

Psychological symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Persistent sense of worry and dread
  • Extreme stress
  • Tearfulness
  • Feeling emotionally tired
  • Anger and irritability
  • Impatience
  • Poor judgement
  • Panic attacks
  • Drugs and alcohol abuse

Types of treatment for anxiety

Some of the tried and tested anxiety treatment methods that we employ at Life Works in Woking, Surrey include:

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for anxiety

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a widely used type of psychotherapy, aims to address the destructive thought processes that underpin your anxiety, examining why these beliefs and thought patterns have become dysfunctional, before encouraging you to view the situation in new and healthier ways.

Medication for anxiety

Medication is often prescribed alongside CBT in order to complement the psychotherapy, especially if the anxiety disorder is particularly acute and having a detrimental impact on daily functioning. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a form of antidepressant medication and are commonly used in the treatment of anxiety, acting as an additional buffer alongside other therapeutic methods.

Exposure

Exposure is an established treatment method that is used to treat phobias in particular. This method seeks to reintroduce a person to their feared situation or object, in carefully controlled steps, until the person no longer experiences the prolonged and heightened distress that they have become used to.

Types of anxiety

Anxiety is a broad term that refers to a range of underlying disorders, each characterised by their own individual symptoms and features.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

Individuals who are suffering from generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) typically experience constant worrying and an inability to relax, which impacts on their ability to function, as well as their general enjoyment of day-to-day life. The persistent worrying that is associated with GAD can focus on nearly anything, with sufferers experiencing constant anxiety about anything from the possibility that they may upset or offend other people, that they are not good enough at work or when undertaking a particular activity, to worrying about their own physical health.

Social anxiety disorder

Social anxiety disorder, also commonly known as ‘social phobia’, is a type of anxiety that causes individuals to experience substantial distress in situations that involve being observed by, or interacting with, other people. This form of anxiety can often result in social isolation.  

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is characterised by an individual experiencing recurrent panic attacks. Panic attacks refer to unexpected episodes of acute anxiety which are often accompanied by distressing and debilitating physical symptoms. Over time, panic attacks become more frequent, and the fear of having a panic attack can become ingrained, thus acting as a ‘vicious circle’ and causing sufferers to experience increasing anxiety.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an enduring form of anxiety that develops in response to an individual experiencing or witnessing a profoundly distressing event or a series of long-term events. PTSD can cause a variety of disturbing symptoms such as hypervigilance, nightmares and vivid flashbacks of the distressing event.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterised by individuals repeatedly experiencing distressing irrational thoughts and/or engaging in repetitive behaviours that are commonly related to issues concerning contamination, safety or harm. These irrational thoughts, urges and behaviours can become very time consuming and can seem impossible to control.

Specific phobias

A specific phobia refers to an individual experiencing acute and excessive fear in response to a specific situation or object. The fear that is encountered is inconsistent with the actual threat or danger that is posed by the situation or object. Without professional treatment, specific phobias can endure for a lifetime and can result in substantial psychological and/or physical distress.

Causes of anxiety

As is the case for most mental health conditions, research indicates that there are a number of key factors that have been found to increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing some form of anxiety disorder. These factors include a person’s genetic makeup, early exposure to trauma or instability, certain environmental factors and existing physical or psychological problems.

Genetic makeup

Research suggests that an individual’s genetic makeup is a powerful predictor of whether they will go on to suffer from anxiety. You are more likely to develop some form of anxiety disorder if a first-degree relative such as a parent or sibling suffers from anxiety. Whilst it is likely that this link is associated with a hereditary cause, growing up with a close family member who has an anxiety disorder may have resulted in early, repeated exposure to the anxious behaviours, thus normalising these behaviours for you.

Exposure to trauma or instability

Experiencing trauma or an unstable environment, especially in the early years of life, has also been linked to an individual’s vulnerability to developing an anxiety disorder. Research suggests that this is because early exposure to trauma and instability can reduce a person’s ability to effectively manage and regulate stress.

Environmental factors

Numerous environmental factors have also been found to increase the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder. These environmental factors may include:

  • Stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Feeling lonely or isolated
  • Bereavement
  • Pressurised work or study environment
  • Unemployment
  • Financial difficulties
  • Homelessness or housing problems

Existing physical or mental health conditions

Suffering from other physical or mental health conditions can exacerbate any existing anxiety and ultimately trigger the development of a debilitating anxiety disorder. Examples include:

  • Physical health conditions – anxiety can be intensified or triggered by the presence of an ongoing, serious or life-threatening physical illness such as cancer
  • Other mental health conditions – suffering from an existing mental health problem such as depression, increases your susceptibility of developing other mental health conditions including anxiety

Contact us

Life Works provides first rate support and guidance in the treatment of co-occurring depression and anxiety. To discuss how we can help you, please call 0808 231 4411 or click here to complete a short enquiry form.

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