Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or imminent disaster and is a normal emotional response to danger. Everyone feels some anxiety at different times during their life, if it begins to interfere with everyday life, it is important that you seek help.

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Is it Ok to see a counsellor

Is it Ok to see a counsellor

A work by Xin

I had a pretty bad time in high school. Without going into details, I was bullied, I knew what it was like to be hurt and alone, I felt angry, sad, and eventually I felt nothing. I was not okay, and I knew I was not okay, but no one else seemed to care. None of my friends were willing to really open up to me. It was like I was drowning and I was surrounded by people in boats, but none of them were willing to risk reaching out to me.

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As part of our blog series Xin takes a personal look into the question, is it Ok to see a counsellor.

  • Author: Xin
  • Upload Date: 2013-02-25

Written by Xin as part of our blog section.


Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

What is anxiety?

how to manage anxiety

There is help and support to help you manage anxiety

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or imminent disaster and is a normal emotional response to danger. What makes one person anxious may not create the same response in someone else. Things like breaking up, concern about exams, or a fight with a friend may cause you to feel anxious, worried or scared.

Everyone feels some anxiety at different times during their life. It becomes a problem if you feel so anxious that it interferes with your normal day-to-day activities. If this occurs it is important that you seek help. A local doctor or a clinical psychologist are a good place to start if you are looking for help to manage anxiety.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can affect both your physical health and your mental health (behaviour and feelings). They can depend on a number of factors. They may pass quickly or may stay for a long period of time. If you, or a friend has some or many of these symptoms it may be worth talking to your doctor, a clinical psychologist or a counsellor about ways to reduce anxiety.

Some common ways that anxiety might affect your mental health (behaviour and feelings) include:

  • irritability or¬†constantly being in a¬†bad mood
  • worried or a constant feeling that something bad is about to happen
  • often ask many unnecessary questions and require constant reassurance
  • being very well-behaved, e.g. never get into trouble at school or with friends (though not neccessarily at home)
  • get upset when a mistake is made or if there is a change of routine, for example: game day for sports, a¬†substitute teacher, unexpected visitors, or a¬†trip to an unfamiliar place
  • being a loner, or hanging out with a small group of group of people (who are often younger or older)
  • being a perfectionist, taking a long time to complete homework because¬†you try to have it absolutely correct
  • being argumentative (but not usually aggressive), especially¬†when trying to avoid a feared situation
  • being pessimistic and easily able to identify what may go wrong in any given situation
  • not answering questions and rarely volunteering comments or information at school or uni.

Some common ways that anxiety might affect your physical health include:

  • dry mouth and/or difficulty swallowing
  • nightmares
  • difficulty getting to and staying asleep
  • difficulty concentrating
  • muscle tension and headaches
  • rapid heart rate and breathing
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • diarrhoea
  • flare-up of another health problem or¬†illness (e.g. dermatitis, asthma)
  • sexual problems, such as not having any sexual feelings or being intersted in sex.

What can you do if you are feeling anxious?

Changing your lifestyle

There are many things that you can do to decrease and manage anxiety in your life. Look at the things that are causing you stress and, if possible, change your lifestyle to avoid or confront those things.

Eating + exercise

When people feel anxious they often neglect themselves. Ensuring that you are eating healthy foods and regular meals as well as getting regular exercise will improve your overall health and wellbeing


There are many ways to help you relax. Check out our section on relaxation techniques or some of the many self-help books on the topic. Some ideas may be going for a walk, doing a class like yoga or Tai Chi, learning to meditate or playing footy with a friend.


Bottling things up is likely to keep your anxiety levels high. If possible, talk to a friend about the things that are making you feel anxious and see if they can be resolved.

What is an anxiety disorder?

If you are feeling so anxious that it is impacting on your day-to-day life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Check out Reach Out's  Anxiety disorders fact sheet for more information on the different anxiety disorders and how they can be treated.

Research has shown that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is very effective in helping people overcome anxiety disorders. People like your local doctor or a clinical psychologist can help you or refer you to someone specialising in anxiety disorders. Medication may also be helpful in managing symptoms and is something that a doctor or psychiatrist may advise as part of treatment.

Check out Reach Out's Who can help you section of the site to find more about what these people do and how they can help.

  • The BRAVE program is a treatment program for adolescents between 13 and 17 years of age who are experiencing anxiety. Check out this link for more info.
  • Anxiety Online is a comprehensive online mental health service offering information, assessment, online diagnosis and treatment programs ("eTherapy") for a range of anxiety disorders.


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19 Responses to “Anxiety”

  1. abs says:

    i have severe anxiety disorder

  2. sam says:

    Hi Abs,
    My name is Sam. I have 2 beautiful daughters and am working as a nurse.
    I cope ….. on a daily basis, i cope. My friends and family have no idea that every day is an amazing effort to get out of the house.
    I could quite happily crawl up in a ball and sleep life away. But i know i cant do that. So every day i get and crawl out of bed and do what i have to do.
    I am sick and tired of feeling this way.
    i know not everyone feels this way.
    How do i make it better?????????
    Acknowledging anxiety disorder i’ve been told is a positive thing. But i feel like it is letting everyone down if i open up and confess that this is my life.
    A life i am living, but reluctantly.
    I need to talk to other people who suffer with this affliction.

    • MelandCJ says:

      Hi Sam,
      yep, Im there! I feel the same way, but I dont have a job and I only have one daughter.
      Life is a struggle, a daily battle…but Its fantastic that you are getting up and just getting on with it. We all have to.
      That sounds harsh – and I mean not to be! – but its just what we all have to do as parents to raise kids and survive. If i don’t crawl out of bed, no one will get my daughter dressed, lunch packed and off to school let alone get her to eat anything.
      My daughter is my everything. I couldn’t live without her – she alone gives me the reason to be here. I am trying to see positive things around me and try to teach her to just get up and find some good in life too.
      I hope I can teach her to be resilient, happy and not let much bother her.
      I’ve been through too much to let her go through it!

  3. Rach says:

    Hi everyone. I have bad anxiety also. helps to know there are others out there to and we’re not alone. just do what you gotta do. give yourself time to take each day as it comes. see a counsellor. they do help!

  4. Michael says:

    Hi There,
    Its hard just writing this.
    i have a massive anxiety problems where i can be in a crowd, a small room with people, a car with anyone, meetings, sporting events. this is controlling my life. i cant get a hold of it. employment is suffering from it. every time i do one of the above i cramp up, pains in the tummy, feel like fainting, hot flushes, running to the toilet…
    i need HELP please.
    im stuck and this is killing my life.
    being stuck in a room with a counseller just makes me nervous…
    Can anyone help?

    • TINO Crew says:

      Hi Micheal, thanks for your message, we can certainly understand why this is having such an impact on your life. Instead of going to see a counsellor in person have you tried online or telephone counselling. headspace have an awesome eheadspace service to help out people like yourself who just aren’t keen on going into a centre. Chatting on either messenger or the phone can be a great way to ease yourself into getting some help, and hopefully from there you can start to see thing improve and improve – you van check them out here http://www.headspace.org.au – take great care – TINO Crew

  5. Kat says:

    Hi there I’m writing to ask about an anxiety issue that I suffer from and have since I was about 19 I’m now 27. It all started when my ex strangled me around my neck and ever since have not been able to wear a necklace or any sort of tight shirts/clothing around my neck. It has only started getting worse to cope with since I have given up smoking a year ago yesterday. I’m guessing that was in a way to try and deal/cope with it. It’s probably the worst at night time when I’m relaxing/watching tv before bed. Even though I may not be wearing a tight shirt around my neck if it is close near my neck it brings on an anxiety attack. It never really use to happen during the day however has started to randomly just occur here and there. I also try and hide it from my partner who I am with now and just try and concentrate on breathing but even that is hard to sort of hide from him. I do also suffer from feeling claustrophobic and sometimes just being in our bedroom and the door is closed watching tv and it starts to feel like I’m not getting enough oxygen so have to get up and walk around even if it is only to the toilet. I just want to get control of it before it either gets worse or takes control of my life. Just want to know what would be the best thing to do like techniques or acupuncture or meditation. Just some advice would be nice. Please help??..

    • TINO Crew says:

      Hi Kat, sorry that you had to deal with such a frightening situation. It is understandable that you feel uncertain about different situations now. We aren’t able to provide one-on-one advise but we really suggest contacting a service who can help you but listening to your situation and helping you through. Here are a few suggestions: http://www.headspace.org.au and 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732): 24 hour, National Sexual Assault, Family & Domestic Violence Counselling Line . We hope one of these services will be able to help your take control on the anxiety, not it over you. take huge care.

  6. beth says:

    hey im 25 and along with getting anxiety due to ptsd post traumatic stress disorder) caused from a abusive relationship) and have developed a drug addiction. so now im in a big rut in my life and im struggling to get out. and i desperately need to for my son..

    • TINO Crew says:

      Hi Beth, a huge well done for reaching out for help, we are pleased to say there are many great services who have a variety of options to help you out and get things feeling much better for you, and your son. If you check out out finding help page http://www.tuneinnotout.com/topics/finding-help/ there is a range of services listed, try giving one or two a call and seeing which service options suits you best – many do counselling via email, messenger, phone and in person. Take great care.

  7. Jason says:

    Hi there i have severe anxiety i just dont no what to do anymore it feels like its taking me over. I used to be the most happiest person out i always helped other people through tough times. But now i feel like everyday is a struggle i dont like going away from home if i do i have major panic attacks. My anxiety started out of the middle of nowhere thou i just cant handle it anymore :(

    • TINO Crew says:

      Hey Jason – so sorry to hear that you are having such a tough time, anxiety an really stop us in our tracks, but the good news is that there is lots of help options available which can hopefully help you get that happy side back strong. A great place to go for support is http://headspace.org.au/ you can chat through what is happening for you via chat, phone or in person. Is there a close friend of family member you could take for support and that can help you share the issue with someone you trust. Sadly we can’t provide one-on-one counselling but we hope contacting headspace can help you out. Also checkout some of the stories and tips on this topic page from other young people who have managed to put anxiety in its place and get their lives back to a place they feel much happier. Take care

  8. MelandCJ says:

    We can do it! :)
    We can beat what is controlling us….it just takes a day at a time and a lot of effort, but we can. We will get there and move past these horrible things in life. Life has these and can really pull us all down, but there is help out there and its up to us to resolve to fight it, deal with it and keep on winning that daily battle.

    take care

  9. SarahT says:


    I just was wondering if anyone has stumbled across any working treatment options. My spouse is opposed to seeking help via counselor or hospital. Any at home techniques that can reduce the impact of an anxiety attack?

  10. Jade says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve had social anxiety on and off for the last seven years. It’s only been the last four years that it’s really impacted my life. While I can still see my friends, go to social events and work…it makes those things 1000x harder and i’m constantly worried I’ll blush, stumble over my words or appear noticeably nervous. There’s such a stigma associated with social anxiety that I didn’t want to be associated with at all. I didn’t want anyone to know because I was so embarrassed so I didn’t tell a soul. I was worried they wouldn’t understand. Not even my bestie, fiance or family knew. I told myself it wasn’t that serious, that I could treat it on my own. I’ve read countless self help books, seen a hypnotist, EFT practitioner, improved my eating, started exercising, began meditating and I’d feel better for a little bit, but then I’d get lazy and fall back into old patterns. If I didn’t see quick results, I’d give up and say it didn’t work. Now I realise I didn’t see results because I didn’t stay committed. You can’t expect your car to keep running if you don’t put fuel in it and get it serviced every few months…it’s the same for us! We need to remember we’re not going to get a quick fix. We can beat this, but we need to stay determined. We need to stay focussed and not lose hope. This doesn’t need to be our story. We don’t need to live like this for the rest of our lives! Enough is enough. We need to take action. Try new therapies. Fill up your self-love tank. Get out of your comfort zone. I saw a kinesiologist and the first session has already changed my life! She make me realise that by controlling my anxiety, I’ve let it control me. That night I told my best friend and my partner about my struggles and have never felt lighter. Her biggest tip was to start telling people. Start addressing your anxiety and turn it into a joke. Make it obvious. If you’re doing a presentation and your face goes red, acknowledge and say “Ahhh I don’t believe it, you guys have me blushing!!!” ;) I know that’s easier said than done, but we’ve just got to start owning our anxiety. Acknowledge it and own it. We’ve got this! Good luck. I’m going to beat this and you are too.

    • TINO Crew says:

      Hey Jade, thanks so much for sharing your story, it is just full of hope – we are so pleased you are the one in control now, and not being controlled by that pesky anxiety. Just fantastic.

  11. Priscilla says:

    I’m so glad I came across this page. My anxiety manifests in the form of not being able to swallow food…strange but true …it’s not that I have an eating disorder but this came about so suddenly a month ago. I was out at dinner with friends and I felt that people were watching me eat (I don’t think they were) and all of a sudden I couldn’t swallow my food! I thought it would go away but the next day I was at the airport and bought something to eat before getting the plane…I started getting the sweats when I took a bite of my burger…I couldn’t swallow the bite…I had to spit it out in the napkin. I drank my water and got up and walked towards the gate. My breathing was laboured and I felt I couldn’t even swallow my saliva. I sat down not facing anyone and deep breathed for 5 mins. I had this dread in my body like nothing I had ever felt before…thinking I would feel better when’s I got home, my boyfriend had made dinner and still I couldn’t eat…I’d put the food in my mouth but couldn’t swallow …started feeling panicky inside. Since then I’ve been drinking meal replacement shakes most days…at times I can eat and it’s usually when I am focussed on something at the time (tv) but mid way through the meal I start think wow I can swallow my food and bang the anxiety comes back and I can’t eat anymore. I’m reading other comments and I don’t feel my anxiety is as serious so I apologise if this comments reads odd….I’ve never experienced this before in my life and have no idea what to do. I’ve been to a doctor who has put me through blood tests chest X-rays and an endoscopy to see if there is a problem there…it all came back clear. I’m thinking of doing acupuncture for anxiety as I recently went to a meditation class to try and calm and quiet my mind against these anxious thoughts. Wondering if anyone else has this type of anxiety. : (

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