Anxiety Factsheet

What is Anxiety?

It’s normal to feel worried from time to time, especially in response to stressful situations. For some people, this is an everyday occurrence and means that they worry most or all of the time. This can have a big impact of everyday life.

There are various types of anxiety disorders (which we will be examining in more detail in separate factsheets). These include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), agoraphobia, Compulsive Hair Pulling, Compulsive Skin Picking and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Symptoms of Anxiety

Typical signs of anxiety include:

  • A feeling of dread and/or panic
  • Being “on edge”
  • Lack of concentration

Anxiety can cause a number of physical symptoms, including:

  • A “racing” heart
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Hot flushes and blushing
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea

Treatment Options

Talking Therapies can be a successful way to treat anxiety disorders. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a common example of this type of treatment. CBT is based on the idea that certain thought processes can trigger anxiety. It therefore involves identifying thinking patterns that may be contributing to this and trying to change them into more helpful thoughts. A GP referral is often needed to access talking therapies, although it is sometimes possible to self refer.

Medications may also be used to treat anxiety. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that can be used for some forms of anxiety disorders, including Generalised Anxiety Disorder, panic disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Beta-blockers can be used to treat physical symptoms of anxiety such as a fast heartbeat and shaking.

Complementary therapies can be used to treat anxiety, although this is not a “mainstream” treatment option. These type of treatments can improve wellbeing, and includes hypnotherapy, relaxation, yoga, shiatsu and reflexology.

How Derby Women’s Centre Can Help

At Derby Women’s Centre, we offer counselling support for females aged 18+, which can help to tackle the causes of anxiety. There is currently an 6-8 week waiting list before being invited for an initial assessment and being matched up with the most appropriate counsellor. Referrals can be made by calling 01332 341633 (weekdays from 9 am to 4.30 pm) or by downloading, completing and returning a referral form from the Counselling page of our website.

We run a mental health self support group on Friday afternoons, during which members can discuss how their week has gone and get support from each other with regards to mental health. We ask that group members try to attend the group every week – even if they have had a good week in terms of mental health and are less inclined to seek support within the group – so that they can offer support to those who may have had a bad week with their mental health.

We try to run therapeutic activities on a regular basis, which many of our service users find useful for dealing with stress and anxiety. We have a monthly walking group who meet on the second Friday of each month, and this is intended as gentle exercise with social and therapeutic benefits. We also look to run creative therapeutic activities as often as we can, and we have been running therapeutic dance sessions on a semi regular basis since 2015.

We aim to have complementary therapies on a regular basis, including hypnotherapy, shiatsu and aromatherapy body massage. These are delivered by qualified practitioners, with a small number of appointments available on selected days on a first come first served basis. The Mental Health & Wellbeing page of our website includes details of the complementary therapies that are available at any given time.