We can all feel anxiety from time to time.
In fact it is quite normal to feel anxiety in appropriate situations.
We call it fear, and it keeps us safe.
Unfortunately the processes that keep us safe can also get out of control.
We become paralysed by fear and anxiety, and everyday life becomes a burden.
We have developed an anxiety disorder.
Take worry, for example.
We all worry to a certain degree, say if a loved one is having important medical tests.
The trouble with worry is that it can spiral out of control, especially if you don’t have other ways of controlling the anxiety.
Quickly your life is filled with worry and the fear and dread that accompanies it.
By this point, you have developed generalised anxiety disorder, or GAD, which is what we call worry when it is out of control.
There are many anxiety disorders, and most follow this simple pattern, a normal process that has gone out of control.
From your point of view, all you may be experiencing is anxiety, and not necessarily know what is going wrong.
A careful assessment by a cognitive behavioural psychotherapist can help reveal the patterned way in which your anxiety is working, and this can help to target the most effective treatment.
Common anxiety disorders are :-