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All of us have at one point or another experienced feelings of anxiety and even panic in certain situations (e.g. job interviews or exams). Under normal circumstances, our anxiety is usually relatively mild, brief and in response to a particular situation.An anxiety disorder on the other hand, develops when feelings of intense anxiety and panic last for long periods of time, often without any apparent reason. If this sounds familiar, you might benefit from seeking help.

What causes problem anxiety?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for this one. Existing research has shown anxiety disorders to be caused by a wide range of factors. Some of the more common causes include experiencing stressful life events, certain types of drug use (e.g. cocaine, excessive caffeine or methamphetamines), comorbidity with other existing disorders.

You might even be genetically predisposed to panic disorder if either of your parents has the condition. It is important to note that to be classified as a disorder, the anxiety should be having a disabling impact on your daily functioning.

What are the main anxiety symptoms?

Most people should be familiar with the symptoms of anxiety, which generally fall into three categories; cognitive, behavioural and physical. Examples of cognitive symptoms include nightmares, racing or unwanted thoughts, poor concentration, absent-mindedness and undue worry and stress. Examples of behavioural symptoms include increased irritability and being extremely vigilant or 'on edge'. Physical symptoms can manifest in the form of rapid, shallow breathing, increased heart-rate, trembling and even headaches.

As noted above, while these symptoms can be inconvenient and worrying, they will usually come to pass as the stressful situation is removed. In the event of an anxiety disorder however, these symptoms would be more more prevalent and interfering with your ability to carry out your day-to-day functioning or activities (e.g. going to work, picking the kids up from school or running errands etc.). If you feel that you might be in this situation, our anxiety psychologists are ready to help.

How does anxiety treatment work ?

Anxiety therapy and counselling can help you through a number of ways, most notably by identifying and reducing symptoms and triggers, as well as helping you build the relevant skills and knowledge, allowing you to develop improved coping mechanisms for long term improvement. To this end, We typically adopt a two pronged approach to anxiety treatment. This might include brief cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety (CBT) for short term improvement and relief from symptoms as well as coping skills training and psycho-education to improve long-term outcomes. It is important to note that while CBT is a highly researched and well regarded approach to dealing with problem anxiety, your anxiety psychologist might adopt different or additional modalities depending on your particular situation and circumstances.

Take A Depression & Anxiety Test (K10)

Beyondblue have placed a copy of the K10 test online to help you examine your likelihood of anxiety. If you have visited a GP to get a mental health care plan and referral to a psychologist in the past, it is likely you might have been administed the same test. Visit their site using the button below to learn more and take the test. Do make sure you read all instructions carefully.

Visit Site

If you would like to see a psychologist for your anxiety or panic related concerns, just give us a call at 1300 059 666 or book an appointment online. You can visit our Fees & Rebates page to check if you are eligible for medicare or private health rebates

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Have a question about anxiety? We're here to help!

Useful Info

Need Urgent Help?

Call Beyondblue at 1300 22 4636 to speak to a trained mental health professional 24 hours / 7 days a week. If you are experiencing a crisis, you can call Lifeline at 13 11 14 .


Chat with one of our Perth Psychologists using the chat box on the bottom right corner of your screen. If no one is online, we'll get back to you ASAP.