Information For Carers Friends And Relatives
If you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who hears voices, you can get support.
How can I get support?
You can do the following.
- Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
- Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
- Ask for a carers assessment from your local social services.
- Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
- Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.
What is a carers assessment?A carers assessment is an assessment of the support that you need so that you can continue in your caring role. To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.
How do I get support from my peers?You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can contact the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service and we will search for you.
How can I support the person I care for?
You can do the following.
- Read information about anxiety disorders.
- Ask the person you support to tell you what their symptoms are and if they have any self-management techniques that you could help them with.
- Encourage them to see a GP if you are worried about their mental health.
- Ask to see a copy of their care plan, if they have one. They should have a care plan if they are supported by a care coordinator.
- Help them to manage their finances.
You can find out more about:
How Do You Know If You Have Anxiety
If you’re wondering how to tell if you have anxiety, it is best to first consider the symptoms. Each anxiety condition has its own unique features, and everyone is affected differently. However, there are some common signs that you have anxiety:
- Panic Attacks
- Difficulty sleeping
Why do I Have Anxiety?
Whilst it is difficult to say exactly what causes anxiety, there are a number of risk factors which can be linked to its development. It usually results from a combination of a predisposition to anxiety, life events, and physical health.
Anxiety can run in families, suggesting that some people may have a genetic predisposition to the illness. However, that does not mean that if a relative experiences anxiety then you will definitely experience it too, as it is a complex illness most likely linked to a combination of genes and not just one. Whilst plenty of research has been conducted into this, the genetic influence is still uncertain.
If you relate to several of the above symptoms and have experienced them for some time, there is a good chance that you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder. There are many anxiety tests online which can be easily found by typing ‘do I have anxiety test’, ‘do I have anxiety quiz’ or ‘how do I know if I have anxiety?’ into a search engine. These tests can shed some light on the topic and give some idea of whether or not you have anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Youre Not Imagining It
One of the biggest steps for me meant accepting the symptoms I had were of my own making.
These symptoms are known in the medical world as psychosomatic or somatic symptoms. Its a misnomer none of us actually have explained to us. Psychosomatic might mean in your head, but in your head isnt the same as saying not real.
In a recent paper by neuroscientists, its speculated that messages from the adrenal glands and other organs to the brain can actually create bodily symptoms.
Lead scientist Peter Strick spoke of psychosomatic symptoms, saying The word psychosomatic is loaded and implies that something is all in your head. I think now we can say, It is in your head, literally! We showed that there is real neural circuitry that connects cortical areas involved in movement, cognition, and feeling with the control of organ function. So what have been called psychosomatic disorders are not imaginary.
Boy, could I have used that reassurance 5 years ago.
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How Can I Get Help If I Think I Have An Anxiety Disorder
You should make an appointment to talk with your GP if you are worried about your symptoms. Or they are causing problems in your day to day life.
Your doctor will look at different things when deciding on your treatment such as the following.
- Your diagnosis and symptoms.
- Any other conditions you have.
- Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
Talking therapiesThe NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme has made psychological therapy more available on the NHS. IAPT services mainly provide support for low to moderate anxiety and depression.
The service can be run by the local NHS Trust or a non-NHS agency, like a charity who work with the local Trust.
IAPT should be available in your area. You can often self-refer or ask your GP to refer you.
To find your local the IAPT service you can search online here:
You can also ask your GP or PALS service for details of local IAPT services.
You can get more information about:
- GP: What to expect from your GP by clicking here.
- Medication. Choice and managing problems by clicking here.
- Talking therapies by clicking here.
Anxiety Symptoms That Might Point To A Disorder
Everyone can expect to have the occasional bout of anxietymaybe you get nervous before an interview or a first datebut sometimes, that anxiety doesn’t subside, which may indicate an anxiety disorder.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , there are a few different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobia-related anxiety disorders, but they all hinge on one important aspect: when overwhelming feelings of worry or fear impinge on a person’s daily life.
Researchers believe that anxiety disorders can stem from both genetic and environmental factors, and these anxiety disorders are typically treated through a variety of interventions, including psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two, according to the NIMH.
While anxiety disorders are often hard to pinpointand often benefit from a correct diagnosis from a mental health professionalthere are some signs and symptoms that are common among those with most types of anxiety disorders. Here’s what you need to know, and including when you should seek professional help.
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Anxiety Involves Needless Worry
A lot of the symptoms of stress mimic those of anxiety â from trouble sleeping and stomach issues to irritability and inability to focus, they can look awfully similar. However, there is one telltale symptom that signals anxiety and only anxiety: a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “all anxiety disorders have one thing in common: persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that are not threatening.” So while “I am worried that if I can’t find a new job soon, I won’t be able to pay rent this month” could be a stress-related thought, “I am worried that my boss secretly hates me and wants to fire me, and when she inevitably does that, I won’t be able to pay rent” is definitely an anxious thought.
Why This Difference Is Important: Knowing that you’re dealing with anxiety is important when it comes to getting the proper treatment the kind of counseling given to someone coping with a great deal of stress will be quite different than the course of treatment from a person suffering from generalized anxiety disorder.
Lets Talk About Stress
For one, stress is typically defined as a response to an external trigger, and can either be acute or chronic . In an ideal world, the duration of the stress response corresponds with its trigger: Once a stressor has been dealt with, the body can return to its natural baseline state.
Acute stress. Remember the pit in your stomach from before? Thats an example of the stress response, which you might know better as fight-or-flight. When youre triggered by something stressful, your brain floods your body with hormones that push you to react: Blood moves away from digestive organs and into your limbs, allowing you to move more efficiently and quickly. Your heart beats faster and breathing speeds up, bringing more oxygen into the bloodstream.
Stress evolved as a survival mechanism, designed to make it easier for us to fight or flee from life-threatening triggers. Today, even though unreasonable emails do not warrant the same urgency as a hungry tiger on the savannah, our bodies dont know the difference. While stress might not feel great in the moment, it can still be helpful by motivating us to stay alert and take action when we need to.
In fact, the Yerkes-Dodson law in psychology proposes that moderate levels of stress are optimal for peak performance. We tend to talk about this state as being in the zone or in flow. Too little stress leads to low level performance, whereas too much is a recipe for needless fight-or-flight.
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How To Stop Vomiting From Anxiety
You can manage vomiting in the short term by using some prescription or over the counter medications. Talk to your doctor about what is available for you and your health history. But the only way to ensure that you stop vomiting from anxiety in the long term is is to stop your anxiety altogether. That takes time and effort and a comprehensive treatment specific to your anxiety symptoms. Until then, make sure you try all of the following:
Some people also find that putting cold water on their face can be helpful, and many people have their own anti-nausea remedies.
Still, the most important thing you can do is minimize your anxiety. Severe anxiety will often cause nausea, and while there are plenty of relaxation strategies and supplements that may benefit those with anxiety, none of them are guaranteed to cure your anxiety nausea and stop your vomiting. Manage your anxiety, and the nausea should dissipate.
Vomiting is not a common symptom of anxiety, but nausea is, and so vomiting can occur in some with severe nausea. The causes of vomiting from anxiety vary, and cannot always be easily diagnosed. If youre vomiting often during periods of anxiety, it is important to see a doctor. Anxiety reduction will also be critical.
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Seeking Professional Help For Stress And Anxiety
There are many ways to seek treatment for stress and anxiety. If you feel like youre unable to cope with stress and anxiety, your primary care provider may suggest that you see a mental health provider. They may use psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, to help you work through your stress and anxiety. Your therapist may also teach you applied relaxation techniques to help you manage stress.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular and effective method used to manage anxiety. This type of therapy teaches you to recognize anxious thoughts and behaviors and change them into more positive ones.
Exposure therapy and systematic desensitization can be effective in treating phobias. They involve gradually exposing you to anxiety-provoking stimuli to help manage your feelings of fear.
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How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated
You can check what treatment and care is recommended for anxiety disorders on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website.
NICE produce guidelines for how health professionals should treat certain conditions. NICE only provide guidelines for:
- Generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder,
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder and body dysmorphic disorder ,
- Post-traumatic stress disorder , and
- Social anxiety disorder.
The NHS does not have to follow these recommendations. But they should have a good reason for not following them.
We have described some of the treatments for anxiety disorders below. The treatments you will be offered depend upon the type of anxiety disorder you are experiencing.
You can find more information about treatments for:
Monitoring your symptomsSome anxiety disorders, such as generalised anxiety disorder may get better by itself with no treatment at all. Or after education and advice from your doctor. Your doctor will monitor your symptoms to see if they improve. And they will talk to you about medications that you can get without a prescription. These are sometimes called over-the-counter medications.
Individual non-facilitated self helpThis involves working from a book or a computer program. You will be supported by a trained professional
Individual guided self-helpYou should:
Your learning should:
Worry Is A Component Of Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety has three main components: emotional, physiological, and cognitive.
Imagine you have a presentation coming up at work. You might notice feelings of fear and dread, two examples of the emotional component. You may also notice bodily sensations, such as heart palpitations, sweating, or a tightness in your stomach, which represent the physiological component. Finally, you might be thinking, I cant do it, or Im going to embarrass myself. Worries and negative thoughts like these about what might happen in the future are the cognitive component. So, while worry is an important part of anxiety, it is only one of the three main building blocks.
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Why Anxiety Treatment Doesnt Always Work
Unfortunately, less than 40% of people with anxiety seek treatment. When they do, treatment doesnt always work. In part, this is because most doctors never look at the brain and many dont run lab tests to see if there are other biological causes contributing to feelings of anxiety.
For example, if the underlying problem is hormonal imbalance, no amount of psychiatric medication is going to help. And many anti-anxiety drugs actually harm your brain and make you vulnerable to other conditions. In addition, anxiety isnt a simple or single disorder. One size does NOT fit all. Treatment that works for one person wont work for everybody, and it could even make you worse!
Other Effects Of Anxiety
Anxiety symptoms can last for a long time, or come and go. You might find you have difficulty with day-to-day parts of your life, including:
- looking after yourself
- trying new things
- simply enjoying your leisure time.
In some cases anxiety can have a serious impact on your ability to work. See our pages on how to be mentally healthy at work for information on how to cope. Our legal pages on discrimination at work can provide information about your rights in the workplace.
If you drive you may have to tell the DVLA if you have an anxiety disorder. For information on your right to drive, including when and how to contact the DVLA, see our legal pages on fitness to drive.
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Does Acute Stress Disorder Go Away
Acute stress disorder is a short-term condition and symptoms usually go away over time. Consult with your doctor about the most effective form of treatment for ASD. Treatment may include a psychiatric evaluation, therapy, and medications. Many people with ASD are later diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder .
Why Do I Feel Anxious And Panicky
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.
A little bit of anxiety can be helpful for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.
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Treatment For Anxiety And Depression In Men
Your doctor is a good source of information and can discuss with you whether what youre experiencing may be anxiety or depression. They can also refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Any of these health professionals can help you with an action plan, whether or not you are diagnosed with anxiety, depression or both.
Anxiety and depression are like any other conditions there are ways to treat and manage them.
Lifestyle changes, such as spending time with supportive friends and family, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet and cutting down on alcohol and other drugs are all worthwhile changes that can help to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
Psychological treatments, including cognitive behaviour therapy, are effective in treating anxiety and depression and are often recommended first, particularly for mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Your doctor may refer you to see a psychologist or other counsellor for this type of treatment.
For some people, antidepressant medication might also be an option. Antidepressants can be effective for both anxiety and depression. They usually take at least 2 weeks before they start to help, and it may also take some time for your doctor to find the medication and dose that is most effective for you.
How Do You Calm A Crippling Anxiety
Coping Tips for Living With Severe AnxietyHalt anxiety in the moment. If you live with crippling anxiety, it is important to be able to tackle the feeling in the moment and to quickly nip it in the bud. Get regular exercise. Regular meditation. Connect with people. Change your diet. Identify triggers.Jul 8, 2020
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When To Seek Help
If youre having thoughts about harming yourself or others, you should seek immediate medical help. Stress and anxiety are treatable conditions and there are many resources, strategies, and treatments that can help. If youre unable to control your worries, and stress is impacting your daily life, talk to your primary care provider about ways to manage stress and anxiety.