Bilyana Wharton Dip Hyp CS, Ad Dip CP - Hypnotherapy and Counselling Practice


What is Anxiety?

The meaning of the word anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about situation or event with unexpected, uncertain outcome.

The feeling of anxiety is the body natural response to danger. When anxiety is experienced in short term it can be appropriate and even normal and, in some situations, even vital for increasing motivation and solving problems.

The state of anxiety can be characterized by unpleasant inner turmoil, disturbed cognition often accompanied by nervous, avoidant behaviour, somatic complains and rumination. It can be related to a particular change in the person’s life that might have unknown outcome. In that respect experiencing anxiety is natural.

However, if this state persist for longer period and it is attached to particular experience, situation or trigger we may identify it as a trait. Once the anxiety state begins to prevent the individual of living fulfilling life and it appears to hinder one’s potential it might have developed into Anxiety Disorder.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders are category of mental disorders that share features of excessive feelings of anxiety and fear and related behavioural disturbances and physical symptoms. Fear is the psychological response to real or perceived immediate threat, whereas anxiety is a worry, anticipation or expectation of future, sometimes unidentifiable, threat.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

The Anxiety Disorders differ from one another in the types of objects, situations or experiences that can induce fear and anxiety accompanied with the specific avoidance behaviours and disturbed cognition. Even though they tend to co-exist with each other and in some cases share similar symptoms, they still can be differentiated by more detailed and particular examination of the types of situations that are feared or avoided, the physical symptoms and the associated content of thoughts and beliefs.

Usually symptoms should be present for 6 months in adults and 1 month in children for disorder to be diagnosed.

Separation Anxiety Disorder – in most cases offset is in early childhood and rarely persists in adulthood. It is characterised by intense fear and anxiety about separation from attachment figures, mostly parents and carers; persistent fear of harm coming to attachment figures; persistent fear of harm coming to the individual that may result in his/her separation from the significant figure; nightmares involving separation; physical symptoms of distress; inability and refusal to be separated from attachment figures, sleep away or sleep without the attachment figure.

Selective Mutism– marked by consistent failure to speak in social settings or situations where it is expected to speak, despite the fact that the individual is able to speak in other situations; the duration of disturbance is at least one month and not related to developmental difficulties or other medical condition. The offset is mainly in childhood.

Specific Phobia – fear and anxiety about specific object or situation such as: heights, flying, water, insects, animals, medical procedure, injections, blood, needles, etc. Usually the object or situation are avoided at any cost.

Social Anxiety Disorder – marked by severe anxiety about social situation where the individual can be exposed to scrutiny by others; acute anxiety of performing social interactions such as having conversation, eating, drinking, talking, giving a speech/presentation or performing; it is accompanied by particular cognitive distortions and self-defeating beliefs; avoidant behaviours that result in distress and impairment in social, professional, occupational or other important areas of life.

Panic Disorder – characterised by reoccurring unexpected panic attacks that can reach a pick within minutes and can occur from either calm or anxious state; manifestation of physical and cognitive symptoms such as palpitation, shaking or trembling, sweating, hyperventilation, feelings of chocking, chest pain, nausea, feeling dizzy or light – headed, numbness or tingling, cold or hot flushes, feeling unreal, detachment from oneself, intense fear of having heart attack or dying, fear of losing control or going crazy. Marked by intense fear of the panic attack’s reoccurring that results in significant psychological distress.

Agoraphobia – intense anxiety and discomfort of being in situations where the individual fears that escape or way out might be difficult or not possible; avoidance of situations such as: using public transport, being in open or enclosed spaces, crowds, being alone outside home; marked with out of proportion fear and anxiety to the actual danger posed; imagining catastrophizing scenarios.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder(GAD)– excessive worry or apprehensive expectations about number of events or situations of everyday life occurring most days; heightened tension; physical and cognitive symptoms such as: dizziness, tiredness, sleep disturbances, muscle tension, irritability, feeling ‘on edge’, losing concentration or mind going blank, headaches, feeling sick, stomach ache, pins and needles, palpitation and hyperventilation.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – marked by the presence of obsessions, compulsions or both. Obsessions are persistent and recurrent thoughts, urges or images that are unpleasant and unwanted, causing immense distress and anxiety. The attempt to neutralize these intrusive thoughts, urges or images leads to the individual to either use another thought or image or to perform particular action. The repetitive, ritual like behaviours (putting everything in order, colour coordinating, checking, counting steps, hand washing, structuring activities by particular time of the day, etc.) or mental acts (counting, repeating words, praying, etc.) are called compulsions. The aim of the compulsion is to prevent or reduce the overwhelming feeling of anxiety generated by the obsession.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)– characterised by intense preoccupation and worry about one’s physical appearance and having a distorted view of perceived defects or flaws that are not apparent to others; the individual performs compulsive behaviours (excessive grooming, mirror gazing, , excessive dieting or exercising, undergoing plastic surgery in attempt to ‘fix’ the perceived flaw, camouflaging tactics) or compulsive mental acts (seeking reassurance, comparing features to others, believing others will see them as vain or self-obsessed).

Hoarding Disorder – marked by obvious difficulty to discard, dispose or part with possessions regardless their value; strong need to save the possession in order to relieve or avoid the distress associated with discarding or parting with them; accumulation of possession leads to clutter and congestions to living areas compromising the safety, comfort and health of the individual and family members; inability to control the compulsion of accumulating possessions.

Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder) – compulsive pulling out of one’s hair resulting in significant hair loss; various unsuccessful attempts to cease the pulling out hair behaviour; significant impairment in every area of the individual’s life due to the distress and the visible hair loss; the hair pulling can be accompanied by different sets of ritual like behaviours involving hair.

Excoriation (Dermatilomania or Skin-Picking Disorder) – characterised by repeating, uncontrollable compulsion to pick one’s skin that results in visible, sometimes significant, tissue damage; the compulsion is acquired in attempt to relieve psychological distress or tension and can begin automatically; repeated attempts to cease the behaviour leading to even more distress for the individual.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)– occurs after directly experiencing or witnessing very traumatic incident; it can happen at any stage of human life leaving the individual having to deal with extensive and complex range of psychological and behavioural symptoms that have adverse effect on one’s life. This disorder can be difficult to diagnose especially if trauma has occurred in early childhood. Events associated with the onset of PTSD can be: sexual, psychological or physical abuse, rape, neglect, loss of significant others, war-time experience, traffic collision, assault, domestic violence. The individual may experience symptoms such as: nightmares or re-living the event; flash-backs of the event; depersonalization; detachment; derealisation; anxiety; depression; acute stress; insomnia; avoidant behaviours; change in how the person feels and think; self-harm or onset of addiction and various physiological symptoms.

Acute Stress Disorder – marked by exposure to, direct involvement, learning or witnessing threatening or traumatic event resulting in negative mood, dissociation, avoidant behaviours, depressing dreams, intense and prolonged psychological distress, sleep disturbance and various physical symptoms. Acute Stress Disorder is diagnosed if the symptoms after the exposure occur within one month of the exposure and are dealt within that one month period. If the symptoms persist after the initial one month period the diagnosis is changed to PTSD.


Adjustment Disorder – characterised by the development of psychological, emotional and behavioural symptoms in response of particular, identifiable, single or multiple stressor(s); the distress appears to be out of proportion and longevity to the intensity and severity of the stressor(s); symptoms occurring within three months of the onset of the stressor(s). The stressor(s) event(s) can be: marital, romantic or sexual problems, work, professional or business related crisis, relationship issues, natural disaster, loss or bereavement, change of environment or life circumstances.



The sessions are held in Office 18 at the Central Chambers, 77-78 Westborough Scarborough YO11 1TP, just opposite Scarborough Train Station within 3 minutes walking distance.

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