I had a bad bout of anxiety three years ago, which resulted in me going to counselling and taking some medication. The cause of my anxiety is no longer a part of my life, but recently I've been feeling quite isolated and I'm worried that it may return. What are the chances of this happening?
It's good to hear you received treatment for the anxiety you experienced in the past but it must be upsetting to feel isolated and anxious again.
Symptoms of anxiety can be extremely overwhelming and affect people in a variety of ways, both physically and mentally. Even though the previous cause of your anxiety is no longer part of your life, it must be frustrating to still feel the way you do. It may be that something has happened recently to trigger such feelings. Or perhaps particular areas of your life are increasing your feelings, such as relationships, work, or low self esteem. You may want to think about these issues individually. But, sometimes there is no obvious reason for feelings of anxiety, so it's hard to know what is causing it.
It may be worth discussing your concerns with your doctor (GP) who will be able to explore the options available to you, such as managing your anxiety levels and avoiding any form of relapse.
Anxiety can be very difficult to deal with and it may be a relief to know you are certainly not alone in struggling to cope with it. Everyone feels anxious some of the time, especially when stressful things are happening, for example at work or in relationships. But some experiences can be more intense than others. First Steps can offer some useful sources of help, including telephone counselling, support groups and a helpline, and is available on 0845 120 2916.
There are alternative methods of treating anxiety other than counselling and medication, such as talking treatments, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Further therapy will potentially help you to identify and explore such issues. You may also want to look at No More Panic for more information about managing and treating anxiety.
You may find it helpful to spend some time looking at possible reasons for feeling the way you do. Talking to friends and family can be difficult, but if there is someone you can confide in, it might help you to make a start on understanding your needs. It may also give them a better insight into your situation, so they can offer you more effective support and understanding. This may help reduce your sense of isolation, too. If you feel uncomfortable talking to someone you know, you could talk to an advisor at SANELINE on 0845 767 8000 about any feelings and worries you have.
Question answered by SANE