Anxiety & Panic Disorder Treatment Southampton

“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them”
(Stoic Philosopher Epictetus, 55 AD – 135 AD)

When does anxiety become a problem? (Why am I anxious?)

We now know that anxiety is a normal part of life, it is a physical response to our environment and experiences that helps protect us. We are learning that when this response is greater than the threat the effects can overwhelm our system and create problems. Our nervous system is thrown out of balance and we feel panicky. If we then begin to fear the feelings we have when we are anxious (fear the fear) we get trapped in a vicious cycle of anxiety.

So let’s ask again “when does anxiety become a problem?”. The answer is anxiety becomes a problem when common and useful feelings of anxiety (natural anxieties) get distorted and exaggerated. The problem worsens when we become trapped in the vicious cycle of anxiety, becoming frightened of the anxiety itself.

Let’s look at another example to clarify this – Social anxiety

Case 2 – Social Anxiety – What is social anxiety?

Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) is a persistent fear about social situations and being around people. It’s one of the most common anxiety disorders. Much more than just “shyness”, social anxiety disorder causes intense, overwhelming fear over what may just be an everyday activity like shopping or speaking on the phone. People affected by it may fear doing or saying something they think will be humiliating’ NHS UK

Social Anxiety Disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders seen in our Southampton hypnotherapy practice. It can affect the sufferer in many different ways. Typical signs of social anxiety would include suffering a symptom of anxiety or find one or more of the following situations very difficult;

  • Nervous when meeting new people
  • Are anxious talking in a group environment or in-front of others
  • Have difficulty starting a conversation
  • Find it difficult disagreeing with others
  • Become nervous when communicating with authority figures
  • Panic in busy areas/places
  • Fear being judged by others
  • Struggle talking on the phone

Social anxiety sufferers may find doing or being in one of the above scenarios terrifying and often the time leading up to the scenario will produce anxiety.

Here is how the anxious cycle may play out for a social anxiety sufferer:

The sufferer has been asked to give a presentation to their colleagues at work next week.

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The person tells themselves “I don’t know what I’m doing. What if I start to stutter or forget my name? What if the panic gets so bad I faint? I’m not good enough at my job. I’m a fake and going to get found out. My colleagues might lose respect for me. They might get bored or even laugh

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Stress hormones are released

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The sufferer may start to over prepare for the talk. This mix of stress and over preparation leave them feeling tired and washed out and negative self-talk continues, “I’m exhausted. I’ll never get this right in time. I can’t concentrate

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Stress hormones are released

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If the sufferer does not avoid the situation completely during the talk they may notice anxiety symptoms. Negative self talk continues, “my legs feel shaky. I feel light-headed. I don’t feel like I’m really here” (feel dissociated).

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After the event the sufferer picks faults in their performance (ignoring the good points). Negative self talk continues, “I made X,Y or Z mistakes. I felt light-headed, next time I might faint. I’m just not good enough at my job to be in this position

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Sure enough, next time they are put in this or a similar situation they have rehearsed failing many times and the cycle kicks off again.

This is a typical social anxiety cycle.

So now we know the answer to “when does anxiety become a problem?”. Anxiety becomes a problem when normal levels of anxiety (natural anxiety) intensify and we become frightened of the anxiety symptoms. Once scared or frightened of the symptoms, we become trapped in the vicious cycle.
This is all driven along and kept going by a consistent stream of negative self-talk.

Do I have anxiety?

So let’s ask again “how do I know if I have anxiety?”

With your new knowledge take a few moments to read through the following symptoms of anxiety.
If you have suffered with one or more of the below symptoms, in the last 30 days, you may well be suffering with anxiety disorder –

  • Heart racing & palpitations
  • Feelings such as tingling, coldness and numbness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Feelings that could be confused with heart attack
  • Dizziness/light-headedness
  • Felt like you were going to faint
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Feelings of dissociation (not really being there)
  • Neck/ Jaw pain
  • Headache
  • Throat pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Back ache
  • Excessive sweating
  • Clammy hands
  • Night sweats
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Butterflies
  • Dry mouth
  • Sense of doom (something bad is going to happen)
  • Fear of the future
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Anxious dreams
  • Anxiety upon waking

How did you get on? Recognise any of those symptoms?
If yes, then it is advisable to consider professional help.

The first thing to do is go to your Doctor and explain your symptom(s) and get checked out. If you get the all clear and there is no physiological issue, chances are you are suffering the symptoms of anxiety.

Are you scared by the symptoms?
If you are scared by the symptoms and they have been bothering you for a while chances are you are trapped in an anxious cycle.

I have an anxiety disorder, what do I do next?

Call our therapy centre today and speak to a therapist in Southampton. We can spend as long as you need to answer your questions.
We can make sure you get all the help you need to overcome anxiety.
Contact Southampton Clinical Hypnotherapy;
Call on 023 81 846287 or email
We provide cognitive behavioural approaches and clinical hypnotherapy* to help our clients overcome Anxiety & Panic Disorder. A combination of these approaches is proven to be an effective way of overcoming anxiety and related issues such as hypochondria.

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Detailed discussions regarding - common issues, services and all things hypnosis can also be found inside the SCH blog

Latest discussions include - The causes of anxiety; What is anxiety? Why do I get panic attacks? What can I do to manage anxiety? How to stop a panic attack? Eliminating negative thinking & critical self-talk.
*Hypnosis is not suitable for all clients and results vary person to person. All our programmes can be delivered effectively without the use of hypnosis.
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