Anxiety is a natural part of being human and something we all experience from time to time. But when anxiety is getting in the way of being the person you want to be and doing the things you want to do, it is at best, problematic and at worst, debilitating.
Lane Cove resident Trish Sara with co-facilitator Young Cho hold support meetings for those experiencing anxiety on the first Wednesday of each month at Lane Cove Library.
Under the auspices of WayAhead, a non-government, community-based organization, the groups are funded by the Mental Health Commission. There is no fee for attending the group and refreshments are also provided.
“The support groups are aimed at bringing together those experiencing anxiety in its many forms, to share personal experiences and information in a safe, friendly and supportive environment,” Trish said.
Anxiety Can Take Various Forms
Anxiety becomes a problem when it stops people from living their lives the way they want to. Problem anxiety can take various forms, including:
- Avoiding certain places that the person would like to, or need to, visit (e.g. a shopping centre)
- Avoiding meeting new people out of anxiety about embarrassing themselves
- Difficulty controlling worries to the extent that a person cannot do their job properly
- Needing to spend more than an hour a day doing things to prevent their anxiety, such as cleaning or checking
- Panic attacks that appear “out of the blue”
- Fear that anxiety will make them go crazy, lose their mind, or have a heart attack
Other symptoms that tend to be linked to problematic anxiety include:
- Frequently feeling irritable or uneasy
- Excessively worrying about things
- Having difficulty relaxing, concentrating, and sleeping
- Developing elaborate plans to avoid certain places, situations or objects
“In our groups participants often form close bonds because of their shared experiences. Our group learns from each other, experience relief and become inspired by each other’s journeys. Some attendees (including myself), have recovered from their illness/disorder, choose to attend to provide support to others,” Trish said.
“We understand it can be difficult coming to a first meeting however the benefits can be enormously helpful. Just being in a supportive space with others who can appreciate the challenges you face, is a balm for the soul.”
Meetings First Wednesday of the Month
Meetings are of two hours duration and in future, will be held on the first Wednesday of each month, starting 7pm at the Lane Cove Library.
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