Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Anxiety comes in many different forms and it can feel very different for each person.  It is important to learn the difference between feeling anxious about stressful events such as a job interview or exam, and ongoing anxiety that affects your everyday activities. This type of ongoing, all-over anxiety is called generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

Personally, I have struggled with anxiety for many years and have felt the effects of it in many different forms including having panic attacks. Everybody struggles with feeling anxious at some point and it is important to remember that you are not alone and there is things you can do to help.

Anxiety is described as “a disorder characterised by intense, frequent or continuous anxiety, which may lead to disruptive avoidance behaviour” (Burton, Westen, & Kowalski, 2012).

Anxiety related disorders:

It is common that people who experience generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can also live with other mental illnesses such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Signs and Symptoms:

These can differ from person to person however here are some key symptoms that people with GAD can experience:

·      Expecting the worst
·      Worry excessively about everyday things when there is no need to worry
·      Not being able to relax
·      Avoid different situations that may make them anxious
·      Feelings of edginess and restlessness
·      Poor sleep

Diagnosing Anxiety:

Although there is no test for anxiety, it is important that if you find your anxiety restricting you visit a health professional such as a GP or clinical psychologist in order to assess your situation and decide on a plan going forward.

Treatment options:

There are many different options for treating GAD, here are some of them:
·      Medication: It is important to understand that it can take time to find a medication that is right for you
·      Therapy: This can include talking therapies which can be very useful for children and young adults experiencing anxiety symptoms.
·      Complimentary therapies: this can include things as exercise, mindfulness, yoga and much more.

 Where you can find help:

•   Lowdown:
•   Sparx:
•   Healthline: 0800 611 116. (Available 24 hours, 7 days a week and free to callers throughout New Zealand, including from a mobile phone).
•   Lifeline 0800 543 35
•   Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 04 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
•   Ministry of Health. Online self-test
•   Big White Wall. Free for Auckland DHB residents. A UK-based professionally facilitated peer support community of people who are experiencing common mental health problems.
•   Beating the Blues. Online CBT therapy module, NZ
•   CALM Website. Exercises and information you can download.
• including The Journal. NZ based self-help program designed to teach you skills that can help get through mild to moderate depression more effectively.
•   UK Mental Health Foundation. Free audio podcasts that can help you relax and improve your sense of wellbeing.

Thank you to ‘The Mental Health Foundation’ for their support on this post.

If you would like to donate to The Mental Health Foundation click here.

Textbook reference used: Burton, L., Westen, D., & Kowalski, R. M. (2012). Psychology. Milton, Qld.: John Wiley and Sons Australia.


  1. Thanks for sharing, I know a few people who suffer with anxiety and it's so heartbreaking to see them the way it eats at them :(

    1. It is definitely hard to deal with but getting help is the best thing anyone can do! I hope they find something that helps them.

  2. This is such a useful article. I hope it helps someone out there suffering.

  3. Thanks for sharing! This would be a horrible thing to suffer from but it is amazing that people are talking about it more and more and there's more help available x

    1. Thank you for reading, exactly the more it is talked about the more people know how and where to get help.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this information.its so important to talk about what to look for

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, it definitely is important.

  6. This post is great. Thank you so much for sharing. I myself have struggled and continue to struggle with anxiety.

    1. I hope you find something that helps with your anxiety, feel free to email me anytime

  7. Thank you for putting out this post. It's important to know how to figure out if someone suffers from anxiety and also, to know how to help them.

  8. It's good of you to share this, I feel like anxiety is not at all being taken seriously sometimes

    1. I agree, but I see more and more people talking about it which hopefully will help people take it more seriously!

  9. I have friends who suffer from anxiety issues and it really saddens me to see them like that. Thank you so much for sharing this piece of information with us. Would be of great help. 🙂


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