The 3 Reasons Anxiety Won’t Resolve Itself

The 3 Reasons Anxiety Won’t Resolve Itself

by Dr Emma Gray - 10th January, 2014

The 3 Reasons Anxiety Won’t Resolve Itself.

Anxiety can be an extremely painful and distressing problem for the sufferer and with at least 1 in 6 people experiencing it in some form, it is more common than most people think.
Anxiety comes in many different forms, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even eating disorders (including bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorders not otherwise specified {EDNOS}) and the repercussions of anxiety can significantly impact on a person’s quality of life interfering with both psychological and physical wellbeing.

There are 3 main reasons why anxiety doesn’t resolve itself.

1. Thought patterns
Anxiety is the result of two inaccurate and unhelpful thought patterns, an overestimation of catastrophe or disaster and an underestimation of our ability to cope with that disaster. Once in a state of anxiety we are more likely to think in this way and so a vicious cycle is created whereby the thought patterns that lead to the initial experience of anxiety are now more likely to occur because we are anxious. If these thoughts are not addressed, the resulting anxiety will not only continue but in all likelihood it will get worse.

2. Avoidance
When we perceive danger in our environment we have been programmed by evolution to avoid it. If the danger is real this response is adaptive as it increases our chances of survival. However, if the danger is only perceived (e.g. a large hairy but otherwise harmless spider) then our avoidance (refusing to enter the room that the spider was last seen in ever again) can be less helpful and in fact create more problems than it solves (especially if that room is the kitchen where all the food is). One of the most common ways in which people manage their anxiety is to avoid the perceived source of their anxiety (e.g. someone who experiences panic attacks will avoid all places in which they believe they might have a panic attack). In the short term such avoidance offers some relief but in the long term it prevent us being able to evaluate the accuracy of our fears and resolving them if they are in fact inaccurate (and unhelpful). If such behaviours are not addressed the accompanying fears and anxiety will escalate.

3. Getting Help
Anxiety is a complex and overwhelming problem however the thought of getting help can be frightening so many people AVOID it hoping that it will resolve itself. However, as outlined above anxiety will not go away on its own so call us now at The British CBT & Counselling Service and let one of our clinical or counselling psychologists help you to resolve your anxiety.

Telephone 0845 4670940


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


Read more about my approach to counselling here...


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