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Managing and treating anxiety

Anxiety and stress can affect us all in different ways - in some cases it can even begin to affect our personal life or harm productivity at work. And so to provide advice for those with questions on anxiety, we gave you a chance to ask our expert, Dr Mark Winwood, in our online clinic on Thursday 26 July.

Before the online clinic began, we took to Twitter for an #axapppchat on anxiety - where many of you expressed that feeling anxious while travelling on the Tube or flying was a recurrent issue in your day to day lives.  Of course, Dr Winwood was able to provide expert insight into these issues and much more within our online clinic - answering questions on everything from treatments and relaxation techniques to reducing anxiety when starting a new job.
Dr Mark Winwood is the clinical director for psychological health at AXA PPP healthcare, and with ten years of experience in his field he was on hand to answer your questions and concerns. Here's what he had to say:

1. Jennifer Lane asked: Hi I went through a very upsetting divorce 7 years ago and started having anxiety attacks so bad that I hyperventilate. I have not had an attack for about 6 years until recently. My father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and only going to be with us for a few weeks. Two weeks ago I had a anxiety attack again I hyperventilated. The prescripted Citalopram. My question is will these attacks keep occurring throughout my life when something stressful happens? I thought after 6 years they would not reoccur.

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Jennifer - it sounds to me as though you might be experiencing panic attacks - and symptoms such as palpitations and shortness of breath are common in this type of disorder. There are a number of things you can do to address these uncomfortable feelings - such as Breathing Retraining which assists you to change the short gasping breaths you take when experiencing panic. This technique has been found to be helpful. Also relaxation training has also been very effective. Panic attacks can occur in 22% of the general population and is more frequently seen in women. It seems your panic is also linked to major events in your life such as the diagnosis of your father's cancer. The Citalopram should help you with the symptoms but psychotherapy may be useful to manage your panic in the future along with the suggestions I have already given you.

2. Sunshine asked: Since losing my daughter 5 years ago at the age of 15 from cancer, I just feel anxious. It manifests itself in not being able to eat, feeling like I have a brick in my stomach and generally feeling not settled. My doctor tried putting me on anti-depressants, but I don't want that. It comes and goes over the weeks and I can feel fine. Getting back into work has been difficult as I have lost my confidence. I was my daughter's main carer for 8 years and just feel a bit rootless and feel I am drifting through life. Overall I am doing well but now and then it occurs and reminds me it is still there, it is a vicious circle.

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Sunshine - anxiety can often have its roots in a significant life event that has rocked you. Certainly the loss of daughter must have been devastating for you. There are many types of treatment for anxiety that do not involve medication. Talking therapies might be very helpful for you not only to examine the anxiety but also to support you back to work and cope with the massive changes you have experienced.

3. 929919: I suffered anxiety some years back following the death of my father in law and although I have learnt to manage that over the years mainly through hypnotherapy some of the knock on effects have stayed with me such as a fear of going out of my comfort zone or travelling too far on my own and I would like to know how I can overcome these things as my husband has just left me after twenty years and as i have allowed him to be my travelling companion etc over the years I need to start having a life by myself and I need to do these things for the sake of my children. I would also like advice on how to deal with feelings of anxiety in general as obviously him leaving has now triggered that sense of being overwhelmed again and I am not in a position to afford hypnotherapy again.

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi. There a number of tips I can recommend for coping with the anxiety you are experiencing which do not involve paying for treatment. Firstly - Write down your worries. Keep a pad and pencil on you, or type on a laptop. When you experience anxiety, write down your worries. Writing down is harder work than simply thinking them, so your negative thoughts are likely to disappear sooner.
What can be useful is to create an anxiety worry period. Choose one or two 10 minute "worry periods" each day, time you can devote to anxiety. During your worry period, focus only on negative, anxious thoughts without trying to correct them. The rest of the day, however, is to be designated free of anxiety. When anxious thoughts come into your head during the day, write them down and "postpone" them to your worry period. This sounds crazy but I have found it really helps my patients - it gives you permission to worry.
Accept uncertainty. Unfortunately, worrying about all the things that could go wrong doesn't make life any more predictable-it only keeps you from enjoying the good things happening in the present. Learn to accept uncertainty and not require immediate solutions. I hope these tips help you

4. Laura Jane asked: I suffer with OCD and have had several attempts at CBT therapy to some extent it has helped, watching Lorraine the other day on ITV and seeing the lady who obsessively washes her hands was like a mirror image of myself Anxiety/OCD effects every aspect of my life and its hard as it's a silent embarrassing illness, and people that don't suffer or understand anxiety immediately label you and judge you as someone who isn't all there which isn't the case! This time last year I could barely go out the house and if I don't have anti bacterial hand sanitizer to hand I freak out, I won't use public transport and won't come in to contact as much as possible with anyone who is ill/has a virus. Your views would be greatly appreciated.

Dr Mark_Winwood: Laura Jane - it seems that you are experiencing fears associated with contamination and have developed rituals to help you to reduce your anxiety over this. This type of issue usually falls under the umbrella of anxiety disorders - but there are specific treatments that can help with this type of issue. The most common one is called ERP or Exposure Response Prevention - which involves over a period of time working with a therapist to live with the anxiety of not carrying out your safety behaviour (your hand sanitizer) - and dealing with the anxiety - which is hard at first but eventually the anxiety subsides. This is a common issue and I am seeing more of this.

5. Laura Jane asked: Thank you for your advice its reassuring to get a better insight into it, i think there is still an awful lot to be learnt about the condition, and in the future further treatments/medication will be developed to tackle it - i think the first step is wanting to get better - i am also pleased to know i am not alone - although mine is very extreme to the point where i now work for myself and could never go back working in an office environment with lots of people i still panic in small spaces with lots of people and will get the flu jab this year as winter is a time where there are so many bugs about thanks for your time and wise words, kind regards, Laura.

6. Miss T asked: I have been with my partner for 8 years, and for most of the time I have known him, he has suffered from severe anxiety. He has a stressful job, which he loves and wouldn't give up for anything, but I feel it is having a worsening affect on his anxiety levels. His symptoms include difficulty sleeping, difficulty getting up in the mornings, sleep paralysis, night terrors, a constant twitch which he says he can't control, unexplained head pains, panic attacks, lack of motivation to do anything and low confidence about his physical appearance. These symptoms occur all day every day. We have a very happy relationship despite this, however, I feel his anxiety is preventing us making plans for the future. He went to his GP who was very unsympathetic, advising him that it was genetic and there was nothing he could do about it. His next step is to phone the EAP line, but he doesn't seem convinced that this will help him either. He feels he has hit a brick wall, and I now think his anxiety is making him depressed and worsening his symptoms further. I feel that rather than speaking to a professional, he relies on me solely for support and I feel like I am his counsellor rather than his partner. As you can tell, it is quite a complex set of symptoms, and I'm not sure what help he needs or what I can do to help him?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Miss T - it seems your partner is in need of some professional support but relies on you for this. It is important that you look after yourself and think about what keeps you well. It is often hard for people to admit that they need help and support and this often means that they put this off until it gets so bad there is no alternative. Your partner is lucky to have someone to care for him but it is time for him to get the professional help he needs. Most EAP services include partners in their products so it might be a good idea for you to call and speak with the counselling team to get some help on directing him towards the service.

7. 737901: Any tips on how to cope with the travelling without another adult to stop the anxiety?
AXA PPP healthcare, we also have similar questions from our twitter followers

8. On Twitter, Sarah asked:I get stressed working in London, especially at the moment with the Olympics. Have you got any tips?

9. On Twitter, Caitlin asked: I sometimes get stressed and anxious while driving, what's the best way to deal with this?

10. On Twitter, Olivia asked: After a bad experience I'm terrified of flying. I've flown over 20 times this year, and am still petrified.. Suggestions?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi 737901, Sarah, Caitlin and Olivia: The best and most portable way to reduce anxiety is by practicing relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxiety symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being. I recommend the following web site: www.getselfhelp.co.uk is a really good resource to find out more about relaxation training and meditation.

11. From Twitter, Sarirah asked: In need of tips on how to curb anxiety whilst travelling on the tube. It's been 3 years but it still stresses me out every time

12. AXA PPP healthcare, we have another question from twitter which is very similar, Mark can you answer both? From reluctanthousedad asked: A friend of mine is terrified of using the tube due to claustrophobia. How can I help him?

Dr Mark_Winwood: This is a common problem and often can be termed as claustrophobia or fear of enclosed spaces. So in a tube train people have fear of having no escape and being closed in. It is typically classified as an anxiety disorder and often results in panic attack, and can be the result of many situations or stimuli, including elevators crowded to capacity, windowless rooms, and even tight-necked clothing. What you often find is that sufferers also experience a fear of how they would be perceived if their feared event occurred so - how would they cope if the lift got stuck etc... So in some respects it is a double anxiety and can be really uncomfortable for people who experience this. I will go with some treatments for this. The most common treatment for claustrophobia is cognitive therapy which helps to challenge the negative thoughts about the situation and replaces them with more realistic and helpful thoughts i.e. the lift isn't frightening but it's a really good way of transporting me around this building.... Exposure therapies are also very useful when conducted by trained therapists - this can be done in a therapy room or 'in-vivo' (in a real life situation) this involves, under close supervision, gradually increasing exposure to the feared stimulus until the anxiety response reduces.

13. Happy1 asked: I suffered with panic disorder several years ago and have been having panic attacks this year.  The doctor has put me back on the original medication and I am starting to feel better however I really do not want to be on medication. When I had the disorder I received CBT and was off work for 3 months

14. AXA PPP healthcare, we have a similar question on Twitter, Hannah Rose asked: ok, here's a question: What's the next best solution for an anxiety disorder, after medication? And from Sarah: Medication aside, what are the best things you can do at home/work to overcome anxiety or to calm a restless mind?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Happy, Hannah Rose and Sarah- medication and CBT are 2 of the most common treatments for panic disorder but there are others.  For example - exposure therapy for panic disorder, you are exposed to the physical sensations of panic in a safe and controlled environment, giving you the opportunity to learn healthier ways of coping. You may be asked to hyperventilate, shake your head from side to side, or hold your breath. These different exercises cause sensations similar to the symptoms of panic. With each exposure, you become less afraid of these internal bodily sensations and feel a greater sense of control over your panic. Again - you would require a therapist trained in these techniques to help you. But there are also a few other tips that anyone with panic might find useful.
Try and learn about your panic. Simply knowing more about panic can go a long way towards relieving your distress. So read up on anxiety, panic disorder, and the fight-or-flight response experienced during a panic attack. You'll learn that the sensations and feelings you have when you panic are normal and that you aren't going crazy. and that the attack will not kill you. Avoid smoking and caffeine. Smoking and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. As a result, it's wise to avoid cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. Also be careful with medications that contain stimulants, such as diet pills and non-drowsy cold medications.
Learn how to control your breathing. Hyperventilation brings on many sensations (such as light headedness and tightness of the chest) that occur during a panic attack. Deep breathing, on the other hand, can relieve the symptoms of panic. By learning to control your breathing, you develop a coping skill that you can use to calm yourself down when you begin to feel panic and finally as I have said before try and learn relaxation techniques.

15. Hollie asked: Is it usual to suffer from panic attacks after coming off anti-depressants to deal with anxiety?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hollie - I am not sure what medication you were taking for your anxiety but as panic is an anxiety disorder I am concerned that this medication has not resolved your issue. It would be worth going back to your prescribing physician to discuss your symptoms. It may be decided that another course of treatment (the same or different) may be helpful.

16. Lobby asked: I suffer from anxiety and although I am aware of the things that will calm me down I find it very difficult to recognise that I need to be doing these things when having an anxiety attack. Do you have any tips on how I help myself?

Dr Mark_Winwood: If you experience panic regularly you start to learn a way of responding to it - which might not always be helpful. As you say you are aware of the coping strategies that help you so in order to give yourself the space to carry out these coping mechanisms you might want to try a technique called STOP S - Stop, T - Take a breath, O - observe what is happening to you, P - proceed with your chosen intervention. Give it a go - I suggest people have STOP signs in key places in their home or work.

17. AXA PPP healthcare, Dr Mark Winwood we have some similar questions from our twitter followers. Would you give them similar advice?

On Twitter, Maggy asked: What I would like to know, how do manage anxiety about things you have no control over?

On Twitter, Ms Goriami asked: my anxiety is always over 'what ifs' I'm an over thinking need to learn to switch off.. but how?

On Twitter, Juliette asked: how can you help someone who is very anxious?

On Twitter, Jen asked: I'm definitely feel most anxious when I'm busy - what would the expert recommend to stop my mind racing?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Yes, I would say similar advice to that for Lobby. Carry out these coping mechanisms you might want to try a technique called STOP S - Stop, T - Take a breath, O - observe what is happening to you, P - proceed with your chosen intervention. I would also suggest people have STOP signs in key places in their home or work.

18. Jayne H asked: I've suffered from anxiety and panic attacks for about 7 years now following the sudden death of my mum aged 16 - over time I have trained myself to cope with it myself by developing coping mechanisms and recognising when I'm 'at risk' of having one, so I can stop it. Doctors have been less than helpful, offering my CBT which didn't work and medication that has made me feel worst than I did to start with.  6 months ago out found out who my Dad was (I had never met him) but also found out that he had died suddenly. I've been to see my GP who has explained that I need counselling - however the waiting list is too long. I can't afford to pay for treatment and charitable waiting lists are 8 months minimum. I do everything I can... eat well, rest, exercise, and maintain a good routine. I've come to the point where there is nothing I can do on my own, I don't want to take medication and I can't get therapy... any other suggestions?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Jayne - well done for looking after yourself so well. You are doing everything you can to maintain your wellbeing. There are a number of organisations that can offer free downloadable resources to help you work through your anxiety. Try the following web-sites: Mind, Anxiety UK, www.getselfhelp.co.uk (really good for relaxation and mindfulness training materials). there is also a web-site called 'living life to the full' which offers online CBT therapy which may really help you. Your GP should be able to give you a list of resources (books on prescription) which are recognised self-help manuals.

19. Jayne H asked: Hi - my point is that I have tried everything. Books, self-help, CBT, meditation and workbooks with a therapist. This issue I need to overcome is too complex for me to deal on my own, I'm essentially beginning to grieve for someone I never met - which is causing anxiety and depression. Until I combat this I will continue to feel anxious, depressed and lost in it all. Unlike anything I've dealt with before - I don't understand why I feel the way I feel - which is why I need a professional to take me through the process.

Dr Mark_Winwood: Jayne - didn't realise that you had tried many self-help resources. Hopefully others on-line will find these resources helpful. Seems like you have answered your own question and therapy with someone who can explore the meaning behind this loss for you would be the most appropriate intervention. This type of work is best done by a professional who has trained in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy rather than the Cognitive behavioural approaches - and offers more open ended, explorative support. Therapists that practice in this way can be found on the UKCP web-site

20. Jayne H asked: Going back to my original point - the waiting list for treatment on the NHS is 55 weeks and, being 23 and having no parents to help fund such treatment - I'm unable to afford this.

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Jayne - there are a number of 'low cost/no cost' organisations and training establishments that might be able to support you. The UKCP web-site will help you and so will the BACP web-site.

21. Sandraaaxo asked: Hi Have a question, will wait around until you can answer, but will post now. I have a range of possible things that could be wrong with me, from anxiety to depression; no one can quite pinpoint what it could be. After being in the NHS waiting list for therapy, I am being told I have to wait even longer. Following this, I decided I want to get private insurance so that I wouldn't have to wait any longer. However I have since found insurance companies don't accept you if it's an ongoing illness. Can anyone shed some light on this? It's quite frustrating to be stuck in the middle of the NHS and private healthcare when neither of them can go anything!

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Sandraaaxo you might find the following useful to try and address some of your symptoms; www.livinglifetothefull.co.uk

AXA_PPP_healthcare: Hi Sandra: While it's true that, like other private medical insurance providers, we won't meet the cost of treatment for pre-existing conditions and some specified related conditions, you'll still get prompt access to private eligible treatment for new conditions that arise after you join.
However, our Moratorium plan could provide cover for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and specified related conditions once you've been a member for at least 2 years.

22. CAJGIRL1 asked: I suffered 7 years ago with serious anxiety when I started a new job and had to take 10 weeks off for counselling before returning to my old job , I am due to change my job again in September how can I ensure the same thin won't happen again?

23. AXA PPP healthcare, we have a similar question from Cynthia: On the same topic of job-related anxiety: how do you deal with looking for a job when you have anxiety, depression and PTSD?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Cajgirl1 and Cynthia: Firstly it is normal to experience some anxiety before starting a new job. Many of the tips I have already posted will also help you to understand your anxiety process and how best to deal with it. Prevention of anxiety essentially involves an awareness of life's stresses and your own ability to cope with them. This can often be a difficult task in our busy and hectic 21st century. In essence, you might develop coping mechanisms for all of life's stresses which may have been taught or explored with you when you had your last series of counselling sessions. Strategies might include these:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation exercises including deep breathing
  • Visualization
  • Interpersonal skills in dealing with difficult people in your new work situation

Prevention also includes diet, regular exercise, rest, and the basics in terms of preventive health care maintenance. Diet is a large factor. Caffeine, stimulants, lack of rest, and lack of exercise all are factors that influence anxiety.

24. CAJGIRL1 asked: Thanks Mark the new job is as a teacher so notoriously stressful but I'll follow your tips and try to refreshed over the summer.

25. Jess_watt asked: Anxiety affects my everyday life but I am retired now so it's easier to control. I take citalopram. If I try to go on holiday or do anything out of the ordinary I go to pieces, panic and feel I'll. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

26. AXA PPP healthcare:  we have a similar question from Twitter, Cyn asked: how do you control anxiety while looking for jobs, filling in applications, having successful interviews

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Jess Watt and Cyn- I have already given a few tips that hopefully will help you here are a few more:

  1. Break the habit for some people, anxiety is a pattern of behaviour - they become anxious about everything and anything. They've learnt it from their childhood, sometimes as a result of parenting. The first thing to do is realise that you are the sort of person who gets anxious and be open to make changes. Dealing with anxiety can be about dealing with your lifestyle.
  2. Apply some logic If you are a very anxious person it's easy to take a single fact and build into a whole frightening scenario. As soon as you start feeling anxious about something, remember what the facts are and that you've probably worried about it a lot before, unnecessarily. If you have set this process up, what you need to do is to try to set up another process, which is more rational.
  3. Are you eating well? When adrenaline builds up it turns on the worry centres in the brain. Sometimes simple things can contribute, such as hunger or a particular diet: try and reduce alcohol and caffeine
  4. Remember breathing is really important - try relaxation and breathing techniques - diaphragmatic breathing is helpful - put your hand on your stomach and breath in and out to the count of 10.
  5. Stay in the moment and be 'mindful' of what is happening to you. These techniques can be downloaded from www.getselfhelp.co.uk.

27.  Happy1 asked: I have social anxiety and to ease the symptoms I use alcohol which in turn makes me worse the following days - does anyone else have a similar issue?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Hi Happy - use of alcohol is a common way to reduce the uncomfortable feelings of anxiety in social situations. Unfortunately - it has depressant side-effects and also effects your sleep considerably. It is therefore not at all unusual to feel worse in the following days. Anxiety is a common feature of symptoms of depression and also sleep deprivation exacerbates the feelings of anxiety and our perceived ability to cope with life's stressors.

28. Cynthia asked: How do you feel when you fear leaving the house or going to certain places where you have been victim of racist and sexist attacks? I mean, how do you deal when you fear leaving the house

Dr Mark_Winwood: Fear of leaving the house is sometimes known as agoraphobia - People develop anxiety when thinking about being in a situation out of their comfort zone. They fear feeling trapped in a situation where they judge it would be difficult or embarrassing for them to leave the situation. People avoid those situations which bring them anxiety or panic. It is the fear of the anxiety that leads to the agoraphobia. There are a number of treatments for people with agoraphobia the most common being Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. There are other things that can be helpful. When it is time to go out think of the following statements:

  1. I'm going to be all right. My feelings are not always rational. I'm just going to relax, calm down, and everything will be all right.
  2. Anxiety is not dangerous -- it's just uncomfortable. I am fine; I'll just continue with what I'm doing or find something more active to do.
  3. Right now I have some feelings I don't like. They are really just feelings, however, because they are disappearing. I will be fine.
  4. Right now I have feelings I don't like. They will be over with soon and I'll be fine. For now, I am going to focus on doing something else around me.
  5. That picture (image) in my head is not a healthy or rational picture. Instead, I'm going to focus on something healthy like _________________________.
  6. I've stopped my negative thoughts before and I'm going to do it again now.
  7. So I feel a little anxiety now, SO WHAT? It's not like it's the first time. I am going to take some nice deep breaths and keep on going. This will help me continue to get better."

29. AXA PPP healthcare, a question from Twitter, Krista asked: what can we all do to relieve feelings of anxiety apart from reach for things that are bad for us like cigarettes and chocs?

Dr Mark_Winwood: You're right to avoid smoking and caffeine. Smoking and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in people who are susceptible. As a result, it's wise to avoid cigarettes, coffee, and other caffeinated beverages. I would suggest a coping mechanism you might want to try, its a technique called STOP S - Stop, T - Take a breath, O - observe what is happening to you, P - proceed with your chosen intervention.

30. AXA PPP healthcare, from Twitter, Lily asked: Can anxiety cause cancer?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Lily, there isn't any evidence to suggest anxiety causes cancer.

31. AXA PPP healthcare, we have a question from our blog Inger: panic attacks are more frequent - once or twice a fortnight - how do I manage them? They often start in the night *the second* I wake up. The same if I doze off in the day. Any "new" tips? Have tried "everything".

Dr Mark_Winwood: There are a number of things you can do to address these uncomfortable feelings - such as Breathing Retraining which assists you to change the short gasping breaths you take when experiencing panic. This technique has been found to be helpful. Also relaxation training has also been very effective. The Citalopram should help you with the symptoms but psychotherapy may be useful to manage your panic in the future along with the suggestions I have already given you.

32. AXA PPP healthcare, from Twitter, Rebecca asked: Why is anxiety such a taboo subject in our society?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Interesting question, mainly because it's not a visible as other conditions. We're trying to change the perceptions and talk about it more by running these live chats.

33. AXA PPP healthcare, from Twitter, Bekah asked: is anxiety hereditary?

Dr Mark_Winwood: There isn't any evidence to suggest it's hereditary. Experts refer to type A and type B personalities. Type A personalities tend to be competitive, hard working and controlling whereas type B personalities are more easy going and relaxed. On the whole type A personalities are more likely to suffer from stress.
Many other personality traits make an individual either more or less prone to stress. For instance, some people are able to see the positive aspects of almost any situation whereas others can only see the negative and are therefore more liable to be stressed by even the most minor setbacks in life.

34. AXA PPP healthcare: from Twitter, Olivia asked: Any suggestions for insomnia? Not the clichéd 'thoughts racing through your head', more a general sense of unease/ unrest

Dr Mark_Winwood: Our factsheets may help you.

35. AXA PPP healthcare: from Twitter, Holly asked: Any tips on trying to deal with using food to reduce anxiety? And being able to separate the two?

Dr Mark_Winwood: Diet is a large factor. Caffeine, stimulants, lack of rest, and lack of exercise all are factors that influence anxiety.

36. AXA PPP healthcare: from Twitter, Stacey asked: sometimes when I am anxious I get bad stomach pains is there anything I can do about this?

Dr Mark_Winwood: I would suggest you visit your GP to discuss the pains, to confirm any underline issues.

37. AXA PPP healthcare: from Twitter, reluctanthousedad asked: Often peer pressure to do certain things can lead to anxiety. What's the advice on dealing with this?

Dr Mark_Winwood: I would suggest trying contacting the following organisations, as they offer free information online which may help

British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Website: www.bacp.co.uk

MIND

Website: www.mind.org.uk

Stress Management Society

Website: www.stress.org.uk

38. AXA PPP healthcare: from Twitter, Anni asked: I feel more anxious in the heat. Is there a co-relation, and if yes what can I do?

Dr Mark_Winwood: There isn't any research to suggest a relationship between the two, it maybe that you prefer colder temperatures in general.

39. AXA PPP healthcare:  from Twitter, Maggy asked: What are the major health issues related to anxiety, (apart from lack of sleep!)

Dr Mark_Winwood: There are health issues related to stress and anxiety. Relaxing and dealing with anxiety helps people to: reduce worry and anxiety, improve sleep and relieve some of the physical symptoms caused by stress such as headaches, stomach pains, diarrhoea and constipation.

40. AXA PPP healthcare:  from Twitter, Hannah asked: I want to know about natural alternatives to drugs that actually work. Yet to come across any as yet

Dr Mark_Winwood: I would suggest using some of the techniques I have mentioned earlier, there are natural remedies available, and however I don't know which ones actually work.

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