Anxiety, panic attacks and stress are major reasons for seeing a clinical psychologist.
Anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations. Low levels of anxiety are helpful to motivate one to take action. However, high levels produce unpleasant side effects; sweating, heart palpitations and avoidance behaviour are common features. These symptoms are debilitating and can badly affect what happens at work and with relationships. Panic attacks, although not life threatening, are extremely distressing.
Stress is very common, although less severe than anxiety. Prolonged stress can also badly affect relationships, work performance and lead to depressive and/or anxiety disorders. Symptoms can include irritability, insomnia, lack of energy and concentration, changes in appetite, lack of motivation, loss of libido, social withdrawal and mood swings. Stress can additionally contribute to physical symptoms such backache, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome as well as high blood pressure and other bodily aches and pains.
Psychotherapy facilitates an understanding of the causes behind the anxiety and stress. Understanding the causes makes it easier to manage the symptoms. The goal is to restore you to health or, at least, to promote better ways of coping.