A certain amount of stress or anxiety in our lives is essential, whether it’s to run for the bus, think clearly in an exam or swim faster in a race. It helps us to act quickly when we need to.
It’s sometimes called the fight, flight or freeze response. Our hearts beat faster, and breathing and blood pressure increase so we are ready for action.
Most of us have fear or worry in our lives, especially at times of uncertainty, or when faced with new experiences. Some people seem to thrive on high pressure situations such as extreme sports (adrenalin junkies). However some individuals worry more than others and have real difficulties coping or adapting to challenges or uncertainty.
Problems occur when the state of anxiety carries on whether or not the cause is clear. This ongoing state of anxiety can sometimes make a person imagine things are worse than they are. Individual differences may be due to personality, early life experiences or events like divorce or bereavement.
Stress and anxiety are very common and 1 in 10 people will see their GP feeling tense or anxious over a year.
Symptoms of anxiety
If things do get too much and you need help, don’t keep it a secret
Make an appointment with your GP who will be able look at treatment options and referral to specialist services if appropriate.
Contact your personal tutor about difficulties and to make arrangements about coursework or exams (or someone from the Counselling Service can do this for you).
Visit Anxiety UK's website for more information. It is the national charity for those affected by anxiety disorders.
MIND's website also has useful pages.
Visit the Mental Health Foundation's webpages too.