We’re all used to feeling anxious from time to time. When we’re facing a job interview, the possibility of redundancy or awaiting the results of an important medical test, we feel worried about what might happen, tense and anxious about how we’ll be affected.
We may think about whatever is worrying us all the time and find it hard to concentrate on anything else. The strain on us can show itself in different ways—we may have difficulty sleeping, or lose our interest in food.
But often the very fact that we are under pressure will spur us on to do our best and rise to the occasion. In most cases, the anxiety will go away once the stressful situation is over.
Some people, particularly survivors of abuse, experience such strong feelings of anxiety that they are unable to cope with their day-to-day life. Sometimes for no clear reason they are deeply troubled. This section is written for people who are experiencing this sort of anxiety, and for their family and friends. It sets out to provide some basic information about anxiety: what it feels like, the possible causes and the various sources of help available. It also contains references to other reading material and to organisations which can provide further information for those who want to know more.