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By z4029250730, Aug 24 2016 03:03PM

Hi. I wanted to briefly broach the subject of anxiety which is a very relevant issue to many nowadays.

Statistically, anxiety affects approx. 16% of the UK population at any one time and young to middle-aged women are the most prone. Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects 2-5% of the UK population but accounts for 30% of the mental health problems in people seen by GP’s. In my work as a GP’s counsellor in Corby at Lakeside Surgery and the two prisons (Wellingborough and Littlehey) where I have counselled, anxiety came up many times. Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental health disorder experienced in the UK and it is estimated that one in four of the British population will experience a mental heath problem along these lines. And in my private Kettering counselling practice, I have encountered many clients battling with these issues.

The dictionary definition of anxiety is “an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future.”Or “something that causes a feeling of fear or worry.” Does that sound familiar to any of the emotions you or I have experienced in the last two or three months – or weeks – or days – or even hours?

It is very common and people have experienced it since the very beginnings of the human race. And it’s not going to go away. Indeed, it could be a phenomema that affects each of us more and more in the future as we each get older - unless we take steps and are careful to guard our thoughts, attitudes and emotions. For some, their mental lives have become mental battlefields.

It is a ‘hidden disability’ as, like so many other mental afflictions, the sufferer doesn’t necessarily present with the issues on the surface – unlike physical disabilities or even other emotional/mental disabilities that can manifest outwardly. Instead the battle with anxiety takes place in the person’s mind – unseen by others including the sufferer’s friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours, fellow club members, church congregational members, etc. Truly a dark struggle in a dark place. I have battled with it myself at times and it is impossible to really describe to someone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. So empathy is difficult to find sometimes from those who have not been through it.

Common characteristics of anxiety would be what we call ‘catastrophising’ where the worst case scenario is envisaged or ‘ruminating’ where the topic goes round and round the person’s mind without any resolution - producing depair, negative thoughts, fear, hopelessness, sleeplessness, etc. It can be crippling or debilitating and stops the person functioning normally. And friends and family watching feel powerless to do anything to help.

However, all is not lost and there are many things that can be done in the battle against anxiety. Cognitive Behaviourial Thinking/Renewing the Mind/Positive Thinking/Neuro-linguistic Programming – call it what you like – have all been shown to have significant impact on improving one’s mental state in the area of anxiety and fear. Plus, as I explain to many clients, “where there is a fruit, there is a root” Getting to the root of the fear or anxiety – where it came in in the first place – can be crucial to the long-term healing/theraphy. And that can involve counselling, wisdom, memory-recollections, discernment, etc.

So, there is a way forward. As with most things actually. Despite the bleak outlook and the present-day torment. Things can’t always be “fixed” but they can be healed or moved on significantly. That is what I try and do in my Kettering counselling practice. To try and help people find a way forward in the situations they find themselves in. If you would like help – or know of any freinds, family or work colleagues that do – then please feel free to get in touch with me.