Babylon Health: Tips for coping with anxiety and mental health
Emmerdale star Charley Webb was racked with anxiety during the first lockdown implemented in response to coronavirus. The actress bravely spoke up about the specific triggers and how it affected her in a candid interview with OK! back in May. She said: “I’ve had terrible health anxiety.
“At the start it was really bad because I’d be constantly on my phone reading about the virus or watching the news. I was obsessed with reading people’s stories and some would get to me to the point I couldn’t stop crying.
“It was anxiety around anything happening to the kids, and with all the worry I felt I was in my own world and wasn’t being present with the kids.”
The soap star went on to reveal how her husband, Matthew Wolfenden, had to intervene at one point.
He told her to stop reading the news for the benefit of her mental health.
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Anxiety – how to spot the condition
Anxiety can cause many different symptoms – it might affect how you feel physically, mentally and how you behave.
It’s not always easy to recognise when anxiety is the reason you’re feeling or acting differently.
According to the NHS, physical symptoms include a faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat, feeling lightheaded and dizzy.
Mental symptoms include feeling tense or nervous, worrying about the past or future, or feeling tearful, says the health body.
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How to treat anxiety
If anxiety is affecting your life, there are things you can try that may help to alleviate it.
According to Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity, there are various evidence-based treatments that have been found to help with anxiety problems and panic disorder.
“A self-help resource might be the first treatment option your doctor offers you,” explains the charity.
Self-help could be delivered through:
- Workbooks. For example, your GP might recommend particular titles from a scheme called Reading Well Books on Prescription. This scheme is supported by most local libraries, so you can go and check the books out for free – you don’t actually need a prescription from a doctor.
- A computer-based CBT programme for treating anxiety and panic attacks. There are several app-based CBT courses recommended on the NHS apps library, which you can search to find an app that may work for you.
- You might be offered a resource to work through your own, or on a course with other people who experience similar difficulties.
“If self-help resources aren’t likely to help with the anxiety problems you’re experiencing, or you’ve already tried them and they haven’t helped, your doctor should offer you a talking treatment,” says Mind.
One routinely recommended talking therapy is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), says the charity.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.
“If the psychological treatments above haven’t helped or you’d prefer not to try them, you’ll usually be offered medication,” explains the NHS.
According to the health body, your GP can prescribe a variety of different types of medication to treat generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).
Some medication is designed to be taken on a short-term basis, while other medicines are prescribed for longer periods, notes the health site.
“Depending on your symptoms, you may need medicine to treat your physical symptoms, as well as your psychological ones,” it adds.
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