Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: Healthcare from the heart of your community

Anxiety

Feeling anxious is sometimes perfectly normal. In unfamiliar situations many people will experience some form of short term nervousness. These feelings usually disappear as soon as they’re back in more familiar surroundings.

As many as one in 20 people however, find it hard to control their concerns - their feelings of anxiety are more constant and affect their daily life. What you are feeling anxious about may not always be clear and not knowing what triggers your anxiety can be very distressing. We understand that situations that seem perfectly normal to one person may be very disturbing for another.

At Berkshire Healthcare we work alongside you, in your local area, to find the causes of your anxiety, to help you to control your worries and get back to leading a normal life.

What is anxiety and what are the symptoms?

Anxiety is when you feel tense, uncertain, fearful or nervous either in general, or in certain situations. It can cause a range of physical and behavioural changes and be extremely unpleasant to experience.

You may be suffering from anxiety if:

  • your worrying significantly affects your daily life, including your job and social life
  • your worries are extremely stressful and upsetting
  • you worry about all sorts of things and have a tendency to think the worst
  • your worrying is uncontrollable
  • you have felt worried nearly every day for at least six months

Symptoms to look out for in friends and relatives include:

  • a lack of ability to concentrate and them being restless
  • being irritable and impatient
  • having a shortness of breath and/or going dizzy
  • making urgent and frequent visits to the bathroom
  • avoiding seeing you or making social plans

You can read about other symptoms of anxiety here.

How we help you

The severity of your anxiety will determine how we help you. The first step in your journey to recovery is to visit your GP, or to refer yourself to Talking Therapies. If you are suffering from mild to moderate anxiety, Talking Therapies is likely to be the best service for you.

Once Talking Therapies has received your referral, either directly from you or via your GP, they will send you a letter asking you to telephone them to book your first appointment.

Your first appointment will be a telephone call from a health professional. It will last about 20 minutes and during this call you will be asked some questions about the difficulties you are experiencing. You can also discuss what areas you would like to work on and ask any questions you have about the service.

At the end of this first call, the treatment options available to you will be discussed and you can decide which one is best for you.

Sometimes, the practitioner may need to discuss your case with a colleague, in which case they will need to call you back. In some cases you may be asked to speak to another member of our team for further assessment because it's important for us to get you the right support.

If your case is more complex they will refer you to another service such as the Eating Disorders Service or the Complex Needs Service.

Once a decision on your treatment is made, we will be able to offer you support straight away. Due to the number of people with anxiety, there is sometimes a wait for on-going treatment. In the case of a delay in your initial treatment you will be offered preliminary support in the form of a course or workshop.

You can visit the Talking Therapies website for self-help guides and further instructions on how to refer yourself.

Need more information?

Depression, anxiety, stress and phobias are very common. You may find it helpful to complete the following questionnaire to help you understand if anxiety affects your daily life.

Living life to the full and Get Self Help provide useful guides and resources that you can read at your own pace in the comfort of your home.