Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety is the body's natural response to danger, when we feel threatened, under stress or pressure; a degree of anxiety is normal and necessary for keeping us out of danger, and for helping us to perform well.  When anxiety increases and persists to the extent that it interferes with our wellbeing and normal functioning we may be experiencing an anxiety disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is estimated to affect 5.9% of the UK population, while anxiety with depression affects up to 7.8% of the UK population.^


Common symptoms of anxiety include cognitive symptoms such as excessive worry, feelings of fear or dread, poor concentration and feeling unreal or disconnected; physical symptoms include sweating, muscle tension, pins and needles or tingling, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, headache, and breathlessness.  Some of these symptoms can be severe and evident during a panic attack which is another symptom associated with, but not exclusive to, anxiety disorders.

Anxiety related disorders

Anxiety disorders are usually diagnosed by a GP or psychiatrist when certain characteristics and symptoms, and the duration and severity of these, reach a threshold for diagnosis.  Some people do not meet the criteria for diagnosis (sub-threshold anxiety) but still experience anxiety that interferes with daily life.  There are many mental health issues  and/or disorders for which anxiety is a prominent feature; some of these are listed below.  It is also not unusual for people to experience more than one mental health problem at the same time; for example, depression is commonly experienced by people with anxiety, or an anxiety disorder.

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder

  • Specific Phobia

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Panic Disorder

  • Agoraphobia

  • Claustrophobia

  • Health Anxiety

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Complex PTSD


Working with anxiety psychotherapeutically

My approach for working with anxiety is integrative which means I draw on different theories, models and interventions specific to my clients' needs.  My framework is informed by psychodynamic theories of anxiety, working with symptoms and other manifestations of anxiety, and with psychological factors (including unconscious thoughts, feelings and patterns of behaviour) contributing to anxiety experiences.

If you would like to arrange an initial appointment to discuss difficulties you are experiencing and how we might work together to reduce your anxiety, please contact me on 07444 341572 or send an email to: - you can also get in touch by completing the online form on the Contact & Fees page.

^McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016). Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult psychiatric morbidity survey 2014. Leeds: NHS digital.