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Anxiety Counselling

Do you suffer from Panic Attacks, Panic Disorder, General Worry, Social Anxiety, Nervousness, Performance Anxiety, Shyness, or Generalised Anxiety:

Counselling for Anxiety at Affordable Talk:

Your counsellor at Affordable Talk will help you to explore the causes of your anxiety and work with you on ways of managing it. It is often important to understand what you are doing which results in maintaining high levels of stress and anxiety. Your counsellor will help you to develop stress-reduction techniques and help you to promote healthier patterns of living.

What are the benefits of Anxiety Counselling?​
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  • Opportunity to explore the underlying causes of your stress and anxiety
  • Examine the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that contribute to your high stress levels
  • Gain self-understanding and insight and learn to identify your triggers
  • Develop coping strategies to help you manage stressful situations
  • Learn techniques that can be effective for the rest of your life

Depression Counselling


Depression is a common condition that will affect one in three people at some time in their life. It is a complicated condition with many different symptoms and causes.

Changes in eating habits and sleeping patterns and overwhelming feelings of despair are often the first signs of depression.

Many sufferers become emotionally detached from those around them and withdraw into a world of their own. Some describe it like being in a prison with no windows or doors, which can alienate friends and relatives, increasing the isolation.

Some signs of depression :
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  • Changes in sleeping patterns; broken nights or over-sleeping
  • Changes in eating patterns; loss of appetite or overeating
  • Overwhelming feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Headaches, stomach upsets or chronic pain
  • Persistant thoughts of death or suicide
There is no one cause of depression - it is often an interaction of genetic factors, body chemistry and life events. It spans the spectrum of negative states from feeling low to severe or clinical depression.

For many people depression follows some kind of loss; the death of a loved one, redundancy; divorce; illness or a period of stress. This is sometimes called reactive depression. Grief and sadness are natural responses to such losses, but depression is a condition and has major differences which can be difficult to spot.

Sometime individuals have a tendancy to become depressed from time to time for no apparent reason. This is sometimes described as endogenous depression. This may arise from past traumatic or difficult events and working through the past event can then be helpful.​​​​

When is the right time to seek help?

If a low mood has lasted for more than two weeks or is starting to interfere with your life it may be time to seek help. The shame that has been attached to mental illness often increased the distress and isolation of depression.

The earlier help is sought for depression the better.

Treatment for depression

Counselling is effective in treating mild to moderate depression and is often combined with medication for more severe cases.

Understanding depression and its triggers can be helpful for sufferers trying to manage the condition. Counselling can help address low self-esteem, relationship issues or persistent negative thinking.

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Low Self Esteem Counselling

Most people assume self-esteem is the same as self-confidence and although self-confidence is related it's not the same. Self-confident people may also suffer from low self-esteem, for example, actors, celebrities and public figures in our society today that appear to be totally self-confident may have poor self-esteem off stage or away from the media attention.

In Latin, esteem actually means "to estimate", so self-esteem is often defined as how you estimate yourself. Individuals with low self-esteem usually find it difficult to answer "yes" to questions such as "do I like myself"?, "do I feel I deserve to be loved"?, "do I think I'm a good person"? and "do I deserve to be happy"?

Low self-esteem is quite common in today's society and those who accept a limited sense of self worth may be more prone to drug or alcohol use as they struggle to find their worth in the world. Low self-esteem may also lead to feeling depressed and hopeless and thinking negatively about yourself and your right to happiness. However, for lots of people counselling can help to change negative thinking patterns and there are many strategies and techniques available to build self-esteem.

Common signs of low self-esteem include feeling tired alot of the time and having little motivation to get things done, feeling bored with life and feeling you don't have much to look forward to, thinking alot about yourself and wishing your life was better, thinking negatively about your abilities and possible opportunities, feeling like a failure or feeling hopeless and depressed.

Causes of low self -esteem​​
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  • Early years are considered particularly important in establishing our self-esteem and our family is a strong force in the development of our individual self-esteem. High self-esteem in parents can be used to nurture children's self-esteem
  • How an individual develops their self-esteem during their time at school can also be an important factor in their sense of worth. Those who develop high self-esteem during this time are generally less likely to engage in destructive behaviour such as alcohol and drug misuse and crime
  • Our own natural personality and the messages and influences we receive from everyone around us about how we should act and feel can affect our self-esteem
  • High self-esteem has to be sought by the individual themselves and can't be "given" to a person. An individual must actively seek to improve their own self-esteem if they are to build their sense of worth 

Help for low self-esteem

Counselling can often help those suffering from low self-esteem and help develop a sense of self to ensure a more fulfilling life. Some individuals may benefit from dance, music, painting or creative writing to find a sense of empowerment within themselves.

Sometimes keeping a journal to explore past negative memories may help individuals relate to how these are causing them difficulties now. Taking care of your physical health, exercising, reducing stress levels and accepting a relatistic challenge can also help towards building self-esteem.​​​​​

 


Panic Disorder Counselling


Panic disorder is much more common than is generally recognised and affects a large proportion of the population. The core symptom of panic disorder is a panic attack. Those with panic disorder suffer from terror, which strikes suddenly without warning. Fearing when the next attack will occur causes persistent worrying and intense anxiety between attacks.

Not everyone who has a panic attack will develop panic disorder, yet for those suffering it is important to seek help. Symptoms of panic disorder are so servere, those suffering often believe they are having a heart attack or suffering from another life threatening illness.

Other disorders that can often accompany panic disorder are depression and alcohol and drug misuse. Sufferers will also avoid situations where they fear an attack may occur, thus interfering with their everyday life. At the most severe end of the scale, sufferers may become housebound and the condition Agoraphobia may develop. However, early treatment of panic disorder can often prevent this.


Some symptoms of Panic Disorder:​​​​​​​​​
  • Sweaty
  • Weak
  • Faint
  • Chest pains
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness
  • A sense of unreality and loss of control
  • A fear of dying
  • A fear of going crazy 
  • Pounding heart

 

Phobia Counselling

Agoraphobia and Social Phobia are both generalised phobias which are often connected and can lead to isolation. They differ from specific phobias (such as fear of snakes or spiders) in that they are made up of a "cluster" of phobias and often involve panic attacks. It is thought that up to 5% of the population suffers with some form of social phobia.

Individuals suffering from agoraphobia often fear open spaces, crowds, public places and/or travelling alone. Sufferers may avoid unfamiliar/public places where they percieive they have little control. Agoraphobia is more common in females and usually begins in the late 20's. Often it accompanies low self-esteem and worry about being able to cope alone.

Social Phobia often develops in adolescence, possibly from early shyness, and can lead to isolation. Both conditions can lead to "avoidant" behaviour, where the person plans their life around avoiding uncomfortable situations which might trigger anxiety or panic attacks. This in turn increases the problem and can reduce the chance of seeking help.

​​​​​​​​Those suffering from Agoraphobia or Social Phobia may also suffer with depression, anxiety, depersonalisation or OCD.

Common symptoms of phobias:
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  • Avoiding places, crowds and situations
  • Panic attacks
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Fear of dying
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fast heart beat

​Treatment

​​ Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a common treatment for phobias, as it helps individuals to reconsider their way of processing situations and can help them to find ways to deal with situations. Psychotherapy can help explore some of the complex underlying causes of anxiety.

When is the right time to seek help?

Generally with any form of anxiety, the earlier help is sought the better as avoidance behaviour often makes the problem more complex and disruptive to the individual's normal life. When behaviour is affected, for example if a person cannot meet with friends or take up employment because of the anxieties of leaving the home, the problem must be addressed.​​​​


Bereavement Counselling

The experience of bereavement or loss can be very varied and your response to it is unique to you. It is quite normal to feel angry or sad when a loved one dies or leaves. Even the loss of a pet can have a major psychological affect, as they are often like a family member.

You may feel grief, anger, loneliness or denial as a result of the loss and bereavement.

Working through these feelings with a counsellor could help you to come to terms with your loss.​​​​​​