Anxiety UK

About this Resource:

Anxiety UK was formed in 1970, by Katharine and Harold Fisher as a result of Katharine’s experience of agoraphobia and her desire to develop support for others similarly affected.
Since those early beginnings, we’ve grown to become a national organisation with an international reach, whilst retaining a user-led ethos – being run by and for those with anxiety.  Many of our small seven strong staff team have their own lived experience and understand the distress, isolation and misery that anxiety can cause. We’re here to help and can support you to find ways to control anxiety instead of it controlling you.

About anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety

People often experience physical, psychological, and behavioural symptoms when they feel anxious or stressed.

Some of the most common physical symptoms are:

  • Increased heart rate or increased muscle tension
  • ‘Jelly legs’ or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Hyperventilation (breathing too heavily) or dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing or a tight band across the chest
  • Wanting to use the toilet more often
  • Feeling sick
  • Tension headaches
  • Hot flushes or increased perspiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking or palpitations
  • Choking sensations

Some of the most common psychological symptoms include feeling that:

  • You might lose control and/or go ‘mad’; or feelings that you might die
  • You might have a heart attack/be sick/faint/have a brain tumour
  • People are looking at you and noticing your anxiety
  • Things are speeding up/slowing down
  • You’re detached from your environment and the people in it
  • You want to run away/escape from the situation
  • You’re on edge and alert to everything around you

The most common behavioural symptom involves avoiding the situation that makes you feel anxious. Although this can produce immediate relief, it’s only a short-term solution. The anxiety often returns the next time you’re in that situation – and avoiding it will only reinforce the feeling of danger. And it means that you’ll never find out whether your fear about the situation and what might happen is actually true

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