Image by Sarah Dorweiler


1. What is Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders are characterised by excessive worry, restlessness, irritation, or fear. There are several types of anxiety disorders, varying in intensity and duration, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic disorderattacks, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and phobias.

Anxiety is considered one of the most debilitating mental disorders, often worsening over time when left untreated.


Symptoms of Anxiety: 

-Feelings of fear or dread

-Constantly anticipating the worst outcome in any situation 


- Paranoia 

- Tightness in the chest 

- Headaches and light-headedness 

- Shaking or trembling 

- Insomnia 

- Stomach discomfort or irritable bowel syndrome 

- Avoiding the feared situation

- Difficulties concentrating

- Easily fatigued


2. Causes of Anxiety

The causes of anxiety vary based on each individual, with different contributing factors. Some people who suffer from anxiety disorders may have a genetic predisposition to the condition, which runs in the family. Triggers for anxiety can include also consist of stressors from work, financial situation, family problems, health problems etc.


3. What to do when you feel anxious: 

  • Surround yourself with a community: Make it a point to meet up with friends on a regular basis, join a self-help or support group, or communicate your problems and concerns with a trusted loved one. 

  • Practice relaxation techniques: Mindful meditation and deep breathing techniques are some tools that you can use to cope

  • Exercise regularly: Nothing beats the good mood that an endorphin rush can give you 

  • Get enough sleep 

  • Externalise your worries by journalling your worry thoughts

  • Limit nicotine and alcohol consumption 


4. Interventions for Anxiety 

There are many ways to get help in Singapore, such as anxiety counselling, consulting with a psychiatrist for medications, reading self-help books for tips and more. 


5. When should I seek professional help?

It might be difficult to determine the severity of your anxiety because anxiety is a natural and necessary aspect of being human, but if your anxiety prevents you from sleeping, working, socialising, or doing errands, you might consider getting counselling.  


If you've been feeling anxious for more than half of the week for over six month, it's definitely time to get professional help.


6. What you can expect at your first counselling session 

Although every therapist is different, you can expect many questions during your first meeting. Ultimately, your counsellor's objective is to learn about your concerns so that they can create a treatment plan to help you develop the skills you need to manage your anxiety.