Iain Barclay


We all know what anxiety feels like: The heart seems to race when we are faced with something that will test us; or perhaps we feel 'butterflies' in the stomach going out on a first date.

This is normal – the body's natural response to anything that threatens to take us out of our 'comfort zone'. It assists us to stay focussed and respond appropriately to the circumstances facing us.

However if anxiety is constant and/or experienced as overwhelming; or if it is interfering with our personal and/or professional day to day life then it has become an anxiety disorder.

Try this self analysis test to determine if you may have an ANXIETY DISORDER

1. Have you experienced sudden episodes of palpitations and/or shortness of breath – even at rest?
2. Do you worry a lot?
3. Are you frequently troubled by fears you know are irrational – but which still won't go away?
4. Do you ever avoid social situations because you worry about the effect they may have on you?
5. Do you sometimes feel that danger and catastrophe are waiting for you around every corner?
6. Are you prone to having negative thoughts you just can't shake off?
7. Do you have a tendency to constantly re-live upsetting episodes from your past?
8. Do you repeatedly check that you have carried out certain tasks – EG. Locking doors or turning the oven off?

If you have answered yes to even 50% of these questions you would seem to be experiencing anxiety to a degree that needs to be addressed.

The Emotional Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder:

  • Feelings of apprehension
  • Difficulty in sustaining concentration
  • Always anticipating the worst
  • Feeling as though your mind has gone blank at times
  • Always anticipating danger
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability

The Physical Symptoms of an ANXIETY ATTACK:

  • A 'pounding' heartbeat
  • An upset stomach
  • Urinary frequency
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Clammy skin / sweating
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Feeling 'short of breath'
  • Lethargy / fatigue

Types of Anxiety Disorder:

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): A condition where a person worries about everything.
Social Anxiety Disorder: A debilitating fear of being viewed negatively by others and/or humiliated publically.
Panic Disorder (Panic Attacks): A condition where frequent extreme anxiety attacks occur even in the absence of a triggering event.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Characterised by thought and behaviour patterns that seem impossible to ignore – they control you.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Occurring in the aftermath of an emotionally traumatic event in a person's life. Symptoms include flashbacks / nightmares / hyper vigilance / social withdrawal from people and/or situations that are reminiscent of the initial sensitising event.
Phobias: A specific form of anxiety disorder where there is an exaggerated and/or unrealistic fear of a specific animal / object / activity.

Treating Anxiety Disorders:

Conventional treatment usually involves some form of behavioural therapy, possibly combined with medication. Hypnotherapy takes the view that anxiety disorders are behavioural patterns that have been established in the subconscious mind. The focus is therefore to ascertain why they were first created – resolve this as appropriate, and then eliminate or transform the dysfunctional pattern of behaviour – all utilising the direct communication with the subconscious mind facilitated by the hypnotic trance state.