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More young people suffering from anxiety

Main image 25 October, 2015

According to new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), almost one in five young people live with high levels of anxiety. But what do we actually mean by anxiety? How do you treat it? And what’s the difference between anxiety and depression?

The study, which looked at the mental health of 7.5 million 16-24 year olds in the UK, found that 18% report high levels of anxiety and almost 16% have medium levels of anxiety.

In our modern, high-pressured and fast-paced society, young people find themselves under a huge amount of complex pressures that previous generations didn’t have to face so commonly.

Not only do they have to deal with traditional bullying and exam pressure, but also parental separation, expectations to go to university, restricted opportunities in the job market – and the new pressures of social media.

Another report from ONS found children who spend more than three hours a day on social media websites are twice as likely to suffer mental health issues, while Glasgow University researchers found that teenagers are getting more anxious because of the 24-hour demands of their social media accounts.

So what exactly is anxiety?

Along with depression, anxiety is one of the most common mental disorders – but what exactly is it? Well simply put, it’s a feeling of worry or unease, normally about something with an uncertain outcome, like an exam or a job interview.

We all have feelings of anxiety at some point in our lives – and that’s completely normal. In most cases, our anxiety will go away as soon as the stressful situation we find ourselves in is over – but for some people, anxiety can continue to have a huge impact on their lives.

What’s the difference between anxiety and depression?

Depression is a common mood disorder that, according to Well Scotland, affects one in five people in Scotland. But whereas symptoms of anxiety include feelings of worry or nervousness, people who suffer from depression are more likely to feel sad or hopeless.

One of the main reasons people get mixed up between the two illnesses is because people who are struggling with anxiety can often suffer from depression as a result.

Similarly, depression can also cause anxiety – but the good news is that both are very treatable illnesses.

How can you treat anxiety?

There is such a demand for help for young people that the waiting list for NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services is currently in excess of 12 weeks. But for many children and young people, this is simply too long to wait.

There are a number of ways to treat anxiety, including medication and self-help courses, but one of the most common treatments is counselling, a process that allows you to explore difficulties or specific problems you are having in any aspect of your life.

A key element of the counselling approach is the relationship of trust that builds between a patient and their counsellor – and at YourGP, we work with some of Scotland’s most highly skilled and experienced therapists, who will develop a strong and trusting bond with young patients.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) psychotherapists, Christina Raeburn and Cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist  Carolann Chapman, have been involved in the world of counselling and psychology for many years.

CBT is one of the most effective forms of counselling for mental health problems. It not only helps raise awareness of negative thought patterns and how these can affect the way we feel and behave, but also identifies how and what needs to change. Cognitive behavioural hypnotherapy (CBH) integrates CBT models and hypnosis.

CBT can help you to learn new skills in order to cope with life more effectively – so that you can better cope with the challenges you are facing. The CBT model is evidenced based and comprehensively researched.  CBT is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) for the treatment of many disorders including anxiety and depression.

If you want to find out more about dealing with anxiety, either for yourself or a young person in your care, or if you have any questions about anxiety, depression or mental health, leave a comment below or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

To book an appointment with any of our specialist GPs, call us on 0131 225 5656, email reception@your.gp or use our online booking form.

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