Information on anxiety disorders & treatment options
Australian Psychologists who specialise in anxiety disorders

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Workplace Mental Health Training on : Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain
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What's Anxiety

A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.

Medicare

Medicare rebates are now available. You need to get your GP to refer you for psychological services under a GP Mental Health Care Plan.

Anxiety Treatment Australia

Anxiety Treatment Australia

Anxiety Treatment Australia provides information about anxiety disorders and the treatment options available. You will also find information on psychologists around Australia who treat anxiety disorders and who offer group therapy and workshops. This website is brought to you by Catherine Madigan, a Melbourne based Clinical Psychologist who specialises in the treatment of Anxiety Disorders.

Anxiety Treatment Australia offers therapy in Melbourne for disorders such as:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (excessive worrying)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (e.g. this condition may develop after: a motor vehicle accident, an assault, or some other event where the individual was exposed to a life threatening or severely injurious situation which involved themself or others).
  • Panic Disorder (anxiety attacks)
  • Specific Phobias (e.g. heights, dogs, spiders, blood etc.)
  • Social Anxiety (fear of being negatively judged or evaluated by others)
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (excessive preoccupation with one’s appearance, worrying about an imagined defect or blowing out of proportion a slight flaw in one’s appearance).

The Incidence of Anxiety Disorders in Australia

The Incidence of Anxiety Disorders in Australia

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia, with 1/7 people (14% of the population) reporting having had an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months. Women are more likely to have an anxiety disorder than men, 18% vs 11%. ABS National Survey of Mental Health & Wellbeing, Summary of Results 2007.

What is anxiety?

What is anxiety?

Anxiety or fear is a normal response to a present or imagined threat. Mild fear can be helpful as it enables us to respond quickly when faced with a dangerous situation and to be alert in difficult situations (e.g. exams). However, excessive fear may lead to people being paralysed e.g. soldiers under attack may be so afraid they can’t move to take cover, public speakers may find they go blank, forget their lines and are rendered speechless.

Anxiety is a normal emotion as it affects most people and is widespread. You would be abnormal if you didn’t experience fear sometimes. However, if your anxiety is out of proportion to the situation you are experiencing and/or persists in the absence of threat, e.g you worry about events months ahead or are experiencing anxiety long after the danger has passed, you may need professional help.

Why am I experiencing anxiety symptoms?

Why am I experiencing anxiety symptoms?

Some people are more prone to experiencing anxiety than others and it is not caused by just one thing but by a combination of factors including: genetics, family environment and traumatic life experiences. Sufferers may have unhelpful thinking patterns such as perfectionist standards. Nevertheless, you can learn to manage your anxiety more effectively.

Do I have an anxiety disorder?

Do I have an anxiety disorder?

Although it is normal to experience some degree of fear at times, it may be problematic if it occurs when no real threat is present or if the symptoms persists long after the danger has passed.

If your anxiety is severe and/or disabling you may need treatment. If you are distressed or negatively impaired in your ability to function at: home, work , school or university or in social settings you may need professional help.

What are anxiety symptoms?

What are anxiety symptoms?

Behavioural Anxiety Symptoms
  • Agitation/restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Pressured speech
  • Fidgeting with ones hands
  • Avoidance of feared situations or objects
  • Cognitive Anxiety Symptoms
  • Confusion
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mind going blank
  • Recurrent thoughts
  • Physical Anxiety Symptoms
  • Blushing
  • Sweating
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Dizziness
  • Tachycardia, rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea
  • Numbness or tingling in arms, hands or legs
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Butterflies in the stomach

How should I cope with my anxiety symptoms?

How should I cope with my anxiety symptoms?

Should I just avoid things and situations which trigger symptoms?

Some people cope with their anxiety symptoms by self medicating with alcohol and/or other drugs (e.g. marijuana) however this strategy can lead to people becoming alcohol or drug dependent and stops them from overcoming their anxiety disorder.

Many people cope with their symptoms by avoiding situations or objects which trigger their fear. However, avoidance is only a short term solution to your anxiety disorder and does not address the root of your problem. Until you address your psychological disorder, it may remain an issue for you and may spread/generalise to other situations. e.g. someone who experiences a panic attack in a supermarket may start off avoiding supermarkets, but then decide they should avoid any crowded building, e.g. shopping centres, stadiums, theatres to minimise the possibility of having a panic attack and therefore end up leading a very restricted life in terms of places they can go.

Avoidance may give you relief temporarily but the next time the situation you fear pops up, you are no better off. Every time you avoid something, it is harder to do it the next time the situation happens. Most importantly, avoidance stops you from doing things you want to do and therefore prevents you from achieving desired goals and leading the life you want to lead.