Read our posts about anxiety

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2015

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2015

Eating Disorders Awareness week is here! It’s running from Monday 23rd February to Sunday 1st March and it is a time to raise awareness and improve understanding about eating disorders across the UK. You may be reading this and know someone who has an eating disorder. Or possibly you yourself have eating issues and are feeling a bit stuck and helpless in what to do. This could be your week to get the information and support you need to begin to address your eating problem or support a loved one as they begin to consider change. It has to be one of the most...
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OCD: What are Obsessions and Compulsions?

OCD: What are Obsessions and Compulsions?

There is a lot of confusion around Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and a great many inaccurate portrayals of OCD in the media have led to thousands of people thinking they have OCD when they don’t. Many people will describe themselves as ‘a bit OCD’ if they like things done in a certain order or they like to keep their homes clean and tidy. This is not OCD. It is perfectly normal to have preferences for order and routine, and cleanliness works on a sliding scale with some people being very particular and other people being a lot more relaxed about their cleaning...
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From Hedonist to Healthy: Overcoming OCD and Anxiety

From Hedonist to Healthy: Overcoming OCD and Anxiety

Bea Mitchell has obsessive-compulsive disorder and experiences debilitating intrusive thoughts about her partner and their relationship. As she wants people to understand OCD better, she has written here about how it led to her recent decision to get healthy: I don’t care about my health because I’m not far off 30, or because I want to be fit, toned or thin. I care about my health because if I don’t, my OCD runs wild, causing extreme anxiety. Healthy living is something I’ve never really aspired to. The sheer bliss that drinking, eating, smoking - and the rest...
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Why Counsellors are so Busy at Christmas

Why Counsellors are so Busy at Christmas

Although Christmas is a festive period it's not always a happy time for everyone. Some people really struggle with life in December, perhaps more-so than at any other time of the year. As a result it is quite a common time for people to seek out a counsellor and start having counselling. This is partly because of the widespread preconceptions that we have about Christmas and the New Year, that this whole period should be a happy, sparkly, carefree time for socialising and celebrating with friends and family. But if the reality of our lives doesn't match...
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Why Christmas Makes Me Really Anxious

Why Christmas Makes Me Really Anxious

Bing Crosby delicately sings that he’s dreaming of a Christmas that he used to know and for so many years, this longing for a reenactment of the past has kept me down. I’ve set myself up for a fall, over and over again. Christmas seemed like angels and gingerbread men dancing in my heart when I was a child. This is probably the most obvious statement I could make, of course Christmas was better when I was a joyful tot who hung on to Santa’s every word. My problem is that I haven’t been able to leave this in the past. Every year I gear myself up for the ‘perfect’...
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9 Ways to Cope with Social Anxiety

9 Ways to Cope with Social Anxiety

The demands of social situations make some of us feel extremely anxious. Those of us who do suffer from social anxiety know that there is not much worse than the feeling that grips you when you can’t say a word, you’re blushing, you keep preparing what to say in your head only to miss the opportunity… Social anxiety can be contradictory in nature. People with social anxiety tend to approach social situations with feelings of unworthiness; thinking that they aren’t good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough, or interesting enough. At the same time they...
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How Sports Protect Girls' Self Esteem

How Sports Protect Girls' Self Esteem

From birth, a child begins to explore her body – what it can do, how it can be controlled, what gives it pain and pleasure.  Her body is not a thing but a process and tool.  But later in childhood something happens that transforms her body into an object that is constantly viewed and judged and pitted against an ideal physique.  No one who loves her wants this to happen.  Her parents tell her that she is more than her looks.  Her teachers coach her in self-acceptance.  But by the age of 10, there is a fifty-fifty chance that she will be dissatisfied with her weight, shape...
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How Meditation Cured Dan Harris's Panic Attacks

How Meditation Cured Dan Harris's Panic Attacks

US journalist Dan Harris’s on-screen meltdown radically altered his life. Before his nationally broadcast panic attack on ABC news, Harris was your average over-worked, professionally anxious reporter. He’d joined the network at the extremely young age of 21, and was  thrown into the deep end when he was sent to Afghanistan to cover the Taliban. After a long stint dodging bullets in Afghanistan and then Pakistan, he returned home to a studio-bound job  with a severe case of undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. He dealt with this by dosing himself up on...
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Why is There So Much Anxiety?

Why is There So Much Anxiety?

Given that we enjoy longer and healthier lives, why are so many of us suffering from anxiety? We do live in an increasingly competitive society. We are bombarded with images of ‘success’. Are we thin enough, handsome enough, rich enough, and clever enough?  We readily use words like ‘success’ and ‘failure’, yet what do these terms really mean? It doesn’t occur to us that these ordinary concerns might be a symbolic reflection of our anxiety about mortality. In my work as a therapist I have come to understand that, often, underlying our deepest anxieties are...
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The Beautiful Game and Depression

The Beautiful Game and Depression

Footballer Gary Speed, former captain-turned-manager of the Welsh national team, had movie star looks, a million pound mansion, a beautiful young wife and two sports-obsessed sons. He seemed to have the world at his feet. But three years ago he took his own life after an embittered battle with depression. With the World Cup in Brazil only days away it is easy to cloak our footballers with the super human strength of gladiators in Ancient Rome. However when the arena clears and the applause dies away, cases like Speed’s are sadly far from rare. A study carried out by...
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