Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Understanding Anxiety for Professionals

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a word we use to describe feelings of worry, fear and panic. As well as these emotional feelings, people with anxiety might also experience physical (body) sensations such as a racing heart, breathing fast, sweaty hands, dry mouth and feeling shaky. Many people also have “what if” or negative thoughts when they are anxious.

Anxiety is a normal human response to feeling threatened or in danger, even if that threat or danger is a thought, image or memory. Anxiety can become a real problem if the thoughts, emotions (feelings) and physical sensations are very strong, happen even when there is no real danger or if it lasts for a long time.

Lots of people experience worry and anxiety although for some people it can impact everyday life and get in the way of school/college, socialising and even home life.

When to refer to CAMHS

When to refer to CAMHS?

When it is impacting a young persons everyday life, and they are not getting enjoyment out of life.

What should I tell the family?

Reassure children, young people and families that anxiety is a normal human response that enables us to manage threat or danger.

If it appears to be impacting upon their daily life and functioning then there are concepts and strategies that they can learn to help manage it more effectively.

Families and carers can support the young person to practice these strategies also.

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