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Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

1 in 4 Kiwis experience anxiety, which has a number of causes, symptoms and treatments. Anxiety can be triggered by a number of causes, though it is most commonly found in situations where you feel a relentless amount of stress. Although the feeling of anxiety is both a common and normal reaction for individuals, we can see more serious cases in people that suffer from a generalised anxiety disorder. Symptoms of anxiety include: excessive worry about finances, health, work, family, having difficulty focusing on tasks, avoiding social situations and ultimately, expecting the worst. Receiving medical help from qualified professionals is a very important step in managing your health. By using our online service Bettr, you can do this from the comfort of your own home.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a common health concern that can be found in people from all walks of life. It shows up as intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear within everyday situations. Anxiety can come on gradually and there is no specific age at which the feelings of anxiety begin. There is a large risk that these feelings may become significant throughout one's childhood.

What causes anxiety?

Research shows that there is no definitive cause for anxiety. Many factors can trigger anxiety and can enable you to start experiencing a feeling of anxiety.

Anxiety can have direct links to feelings of worry and overwhelm, triggers can include: work stress or a change in career, or emotional shock following a traumatic event.

It can be difficult to navigate the causes of anxiety, and other causes could include:

  • Family and relationship problems – problems at home or within your personal relationships can be a large contribution to the feeling of anxiety.
  • Death or loss of a loved one – losing a loved one, or experiencing a death of someone you knew or were close to can affect your mental health significantly, often bringing one an overwhelming sense of anxiety.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Symptoms of anxiety can vary from minor to extreme, it is not yet known how quickly these symptoms can escalate. Similarly to depression and other mental illnesses, symptoms of anxiety can be considered circumstantial.

Note: if you are suffering from any of the below symptoms, but aren’t sure if you are suffering from anxiety, it pays to take action immediately. If you’re not suffering from anxiety, your symptoms may still be treatable.

  • Increased heart rate. Your heart rate may increase when experiencing anxiety. Feelings of nervousness and tension, as well as sweating, are also an indication that your heart is beating at an increased rate.
  • Rapid breathing. This goes hand in hand with an increased heart rate, anxiety can trigger physical symptoms as well.
  • Restlessness. The inability to sit still and concentrate can indicate a feeling of anxiety.
  • Trouble concentrating. This can stem from overthinking, a constant stream of anxious thoughts may defer from your task at hand.
  • Difficulty falling asleep. A constant stream of thoughts about a situation you found yourself in, or dread for the following day indicate that you are feeling anxious. This can cause difficulty falling asleep.

Who can get anxiety?

Insomnia can be found in individuals from all walks of life. Recent research has shown that 45% of participants in New Zealand reported experiencing symptoms of insomnia. While children can suffer from the disorder, it is more commonly found in adults and elderly individuals. Insomnia can lead to further health problems, so it is important that you act on symptoms quickly. You are able to do so on our online service, Bettr. We have a team of professionals who will be able to help you, and find a treatment for your insomnia that best suits you.

How is anxiety treated?

Medication – Upon assessment, your local GP is likely to prescribe you with an SSRI which will help to mitigate your symptoms of anxiety. Finding the right medication to help treat your problem can be trial and error, and you need to find a medication that fits best with you and your lifestyle.

Therapy – Alternatively, you can visit a therapist who specialises in treating those with anxiety and other mental illnesses. Your GP will help to determine which treatment is best for you, and will explain what is available locally.

Lifestyle - With professional advice, treating anxiety or learning how to deal with anxiety can be as simple as making changes to your lifestyle, this may include adopting a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and reducing caffeine intake. One of our team members will help to determine what you can best benefit from.

What do I do if I have anxiety?

If you are suffering from anxiety, or you feel as though your symptoms match up with those of anxiety, it is important to act on these quickly. Without being treated, anxiety can lead to further mental health problems, including depression. If you aren’t sure if you have anxiety but think you might, talking to someone could help.

As soon as you can, ensure you get in touch with a GP. This can easily be done via Bettr, our online service that connects you with a GP. Anxiety can be treated without visiting a GP in the clinic. Our team will guide you towards the best options available for you. To do this, book your consultation below.

We offer same day appointments and online prescriptions. Immediate healthcare when you need it. There is no need to download an app or re-register with your GP.

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