Anxiety: The Hidden Epidemic
8th March 2018
Everyone gets nervous or anxious sometimes. In fact, that anxious feeling is probably an important part of the fight or flight instinct which helped keep our ancestors safe. Realising there is danger and responding quickly was vital then and can even be life-saving now. Unfortunately, many of us experience anxiety that is far beyond what is helpful. This extreme anxiety can interfere with our ability to concentrate, sleep, and perform our day-to-day activities.
While we may know what it’s like to feel anxious, we need to recognise the seriousness of anxiety gone wrong. Too often people try to suffer through it on their own or are told to simply ignore what they’re feeling. The truth is untreated anxiety disorders can become worse. This stress can cause mental anguish, hurt relationships at work or home, and make other medical issues worse.
Not Just Stress
One of the problems with anxiety disorders is they are becoming increasingly common and yet people often don’t recognise the symptoms. Sleep problems caused by anxiety can be blamed on any number of other things. Panic attacks can be mistaken for heart attacks. Anxiety can take many different forms and of varying severity. Our psychology clinic London helps patients with a range of different forms of anxiety.
No Just for Adults
An increasing number of children are now suffering from anxiety disorders. This has impacted students so much that some schools now have dogs that are specially trained in relieving stress. These dogs will sit in the classroom when children are trying to read or perform other particularly high-stress activities.
Tackling anxiety problems can help students feel better about themselves and do better in school. Often, we are particularly reluctant to take anxiety problems seriously when they are experienced by children or teens. Kids may be told that they are worried for no reason or that they’ll grow out of it. Being anxious in certain settings can also be mistaken for attention deficit disorder rather that being recognised as a different problem that requires different treatment. Not only can delay in treating anxiety disorders cause additional problems for children, they may become less likely to trust adults if their symptoms are dismissed or ignored.
Even though anxiety disorders are on the rise, the good news is anxiety is treatable. Psychologists are trained in identifying anxiety issues and effectively resolving them. Anxiety disorders can develop at any age. Adults may gradually develop them over the years or excess anxiety can be triggered by an event. The same is true for children but developmental changes as children mature can make it more difficult to distinguish an anxiety problem from the normal changes children experience.
That’s why it is important to have your child diagnosed by an expert rather than by a school administrator. While teachers, administrators, and even your family doctor may be well-intentioned, they may not have the specialised knowledge required to diagnose an anxiety disorder. If you’d like to know more, or book an appointment, you can contact us today.