What is it?
Anxiety is like chronic worry or fear. Your head has a number of thoughts running through it, which tends to build up your level of agitation. Think of it in some way like a dentist’s drill. The pressure is applied on the foot pedal and as it is the drill whirrs faster and faster. Often you will notice if someone is feeling anxious if their speech starts to sound like a dentist’s drill and gets faster and faster and faster and……
Often people who are anxious or who have chronic anxiety cannot sleep, sometimes cannot eat and often have difficulty focusing their thoughts, because their thoughts of course are “running away with them”.
What causes it?
What causes anxiety? Any number of things and any number of factors may cause anxiety. There is separation anxiety – where a child (or adult) will feel apprehension about being abandoned or left alone. There is social anxiety, where people feel anxious going to parties and feel awkward introducing themselves to others. There is performance anxiety, when a person must get up in front an audience to perform and is frightened that the performance will go badly. This is similar to test anxiety or exam anxiety. But basically anxiety is usually caused by a perceived threat whether imagined or real.
What fixes it?
Most counsellors or psychotherapist don’t talk about “fixing” or “curing” clients or patients. Clients and patients are not automobiles nor hams. It is not as simple as that and people are not machines. Rather we talk about what can help the client to function better and alleviate their distress. With regards to anxiety, one would want to look at addressing the fear behind the anxiety and confronting it, whether the fear is a genuine or imagined.