Mental Health in the Workplace Level 2 (VTQ)

47 videos, 2 hours and 13 minutes

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Anxiety - professionals discussion

Video 19 of 47
4 min 43 sec
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Anxiety is really widespread. It is one of the reasons why people go to counselling or seek help in some way.  Anxiety I think affects people in ways that they do not even realise that they are being affected by it. One of the main symptoms of anxiety can be panic episodes. They are easily dealt with once you know the techniques for coping with them but they are very frightening at the time, even though they are medically not a danger to you, they are a very frightening to experience. The shortness of breath, the disorientation, stomach problems, headaches, possibly tears afterwards, all are things that you do not want people to know that you are experiencing. Once you have experienced a panic episode in a certain environment, a shop, concert, film, or supermarket are very common and can cause you to dread going back to that place. In fact, you organise your life so you do not have to go back to that place. And that restricts your life, you become adaptive.

Other forms of anxiety can take the form of maybe feeling that you want to withdraw from a situation, to get out of it, or that you do not want to go into it in the first place. You can have physical symptoms which may include headaches, stomach problems and some people find the tensing of the muscles gives them muscle pain.  Sometimes people medicate the anxiety with alcohol or recreational drugs, which then leads onto a different problem.  Asking a GP for help, they may be able to give you medication to help with your anxiety.  Several people do not approach a GP for help because they fear that they will become addicted to whatever is prescribed from them, but the GP would take a very careful view of what to prescribe and not. And they often prescribe seeing a counsellor as well to help with the day-to-day living if you are going to have anxiety in your life.

Anxiety can affect sleep, you can either oversleep or not sleep at all. Some people cannot get to sleep and then when they do, they sleep way past their normal waking up time. Others drop off and then wake up at three or four in the morning and their minds are going over and over again. And other people find sleep an escape from anxiety, so will want sleeping pills to take them away from that anxiety, or they can just really want to step out of this world for a while and they feel that medication can do that sometimes, or they have meditation techniques or some type of emotional release systems that help them just get away from it for a while. It can invade every area of your life and other people tend to notice it when you are anxious. It can be in body language, hand clasping, hand rubbing, head shaking or shrinking back in your chair if you are talking to someone, something like that. I think it is quite obvious when you are anxious, I think people do notice that. Whether they give you feedback on it or not depends on their relationship with you. But I think it is very noticeable when someone is anxious. Efforts to hide it usually are not very successful. This is the signposting coming in then, you can offer someone something if you can actually see the anxiety in them. They will probably own the anxiety, although they probably will not own the level of it.

When somebody says, "I am anxious," for example they are going to do something and are almost excited about it, and there is a little bit of an adrenaline rush which makes a lot of people perform very well, would terming that as anxiety be correct or not?

I think you need that little level of anxiety just to make your performance what you want it to be. It is when it is over the top and it cancels out that feeling, I think, that it becomes a problem. I think if you do not have that little bit of anxiety at the first, again, you would not be at your best and you would not feel you had been at your best, which in itself can be anxiety-inducing. It is when it overtakes how you normally are in a situation, you are more worried about the anxiety than the situation itself, I think that is the time when you need to look for help.