What is it?

Anxiety is a typical response to stress. Symptoms can be as mild as a feeling of unease or worry, or as severe as having a panic attack.

However, it is important to remember that anxiety itself is not a sign of mental ill health, but a natural response to fear and uncertainty.

How do I develop anxiety?

Anxiety helps protect us from danger, but when we repeatedly "misperceive" a situation as dangerous, it can lead to an `anxiety disorder’ which can have a negative impact on our personal health and well-being.

An anxiety disorder can develop from circumstances and responses that are unique to you, so the type of support we offer at SRP Choices is carefully matched to meet your needs.

What signs might I notice?

Signs of anxiety you might notice include: 

  • difficulty concentrating
  • excessive worrying
  • feeling on edge
  • feeling tired
  • irritability
  • tensing of your muscles and/or jaw
  • racing heart rate, sweating or flushes
  • poor sleeping
  • suppressed appetite or overly hungry
  • low sex drive or overly high sex drive
  • increased drinking of alcohol
  • overuse of prescribed or recreational drugs

How might I be assessed?

If you feel you might be suffering from anxiety and would like some help, our SRP Choices team can assess what type of support you may need and what service would be most appropriate for you.

How might I be supported?

For times when you just need someone to talk through an issue you feel anxious about, or have need for more intensive support, we can provide one-off `listening ear’ sessions to prevent issues escalating. We can also offer short-term counselling sessions for more difficult issues or refer you to more specialist support services if your needs are more complex.

How can I avoid developing anxiety?

Ways to avoid developing anxiety include "self management" strategies, talking with your friends, family or a health care professional.

If you regularly find yourself experiencing anxiety, learning to recognise what "triggers" those feelings could be a good way to help reduce them.

Restricting the amount of caffeinated drinks you have each day and taking regular exercise can also help reduce levels of anxiety.

What if I’m HIV positive?

Although everyone can experience anxiety, if you’re HIV positive you may be more likely to experience anxiety from time to time.

It is normal to experience some anxiety with the ups and downs of managing a long-term condition such as HIV. For example, you may have found that anxiety levels rose in the months following your diagnosis, disclosing your status to others, or when beginning anti-HIV treatment.

Our SRP Choices team will able to assess where you are in terms of what type of support you may need and which of our services would be most appropriate for you.

Where can I get help?

If you think you’re experiencing anxiety and would like help in overcoming it, click on the SRP Choices page.