And what is the difference between an Anxiety and Fear?

Fear is usually directed toward something concrete – an object or a situation; for example you fear you might miss the train, a deadline or fail an exam etc. Anxiety on the other hand, is often something that cannot be specified.

In other words, the focus of the anxiety is inward rather than outward. For instance, you might be anxious of losing control, or that something bad might happen even though nothing bad is in the vicinity, or likely to happen.

Anxiety affects your whole being both physiologically and psychologically. Physiologically reactions can include bodily reactions like rapid heart beat, trembling, excessive sweating, dry mouth, feeling faint, feeling hot for no reason, muscle tension, tummy cramps etc.

On a behavioural level, it can sabotage your ability to deal with everyday normal situations, like getting on a bus, a train, going to the shops etc. In severe cases, it can cause you to be extremely fearful of dying or even going crazy.

It can differ from a twinge to a full blown panic attack where you feel that you are about to die. Panic Attacks can be extremely scary because you virtually feel that you are about to die because you feel so out of control and extremely short of breath. Some people even end up in A&E because it can be so severe and shocking scary.

There are various forms – which it must be distinguished from every day anxiety in that the true anxiety is much more intense.

  • Panic Disorders
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social Phobia
  • Animal Phobia
  • Acrophobia
  • Elevator Phobia
  • Airplane Phobia
  • Health / Contamination Phobia
  • GAD – Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

So, if you or someone you know is suffering with this, it is essential that they get the appropriate help and support to help them manage and address their particular issue(s). Counselling, EMDR, Coaching and Hypnotherapy can all help to manage, alleviate and address the problem, bringing peace and calm to the person enduring it.

It must be emphasised at this point that Anxiety and Depression are not the same. People can suffer with Depression only or with Anxiety only or with both to varying degrees. But they are hugely different and must be identified as different in order to find the best approach, strategy and therapy to help manage them.