What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an umbrella term for a range of conditions that includes generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorders and OCD.

Behind these conditions are the emotions of fear and, to a lessor extent. Fear and worry are natural emotions that humans have developed for a reason. For people experiencing an anxiety disorder however, the sense of ‘something bad is going to happen and I am not going to be able to cope’ is experienced frequently which disrupts daily life.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety?

People describe experiencing anxiety in a variety of ways. Physical symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty winding down or relaxing
  • Sleeping difficulties
Cognitive symptoms may include:

  • A general state of worry or sense of dread
  • Negative thoughts
  • Avoidance of situations considered to be high risk/high threat (even though they may not actually be)
  • Inability to stay still and constantly seeking distractions.

Difference between anxiety and depression

Depression and anxiety are separate conditions, though they do share a high level of comorbidity. That is, people are likely to experience both at the same time. At a simplified and fundamental level, depression is based on the emotions of sadness and motivation whereas anxiety is based on fear or worry and avoidance.

Treatment for anxiety

Some broad strategies that have been shown to help with anxiety are:

  • Breathing exercises and relaxation
  • Mindfulness
  • Exercise

Seeking Help

Through therapy, a psychologist will help you recognize the causes of anxiety and develop tailored strategies to manage the anxiety and minimize its impact. The benefit of having a trained professional is that you will be given specific strategies for your unique circumstances and situation. Additionally, the support of your psychologist through the strategies significantly increases the benefit and chance of success.



Our  focus is a positive outcome for every person we engage with. Our strategies define goals and our therapies are tailored to achieve them. Respect, compassion and understanding without judgement allow us to be effective and earn the trust we need to treat and empower.



Suite 210 Town Centre
30 Campbell St
Blacktown NSW 2148

P: 02 9831 5955

F: 02 9831 6566

E: info@blacktownpsychology.com.au