My name's Lynne Drummond,
I work as a consultant psychiatrist,
specialising in OCD, body dysmorphic
disorder and anxiety disorders.
Anxiety's a universal experience.
Everybody that lives on Earth
has had anxiety from time to time
and in different situations.
two components to anxiety.
There's the tray anxiety which is
the background level of anxiety,
which can vary
from individual to individual.
So some people are naturally
very anxious about lots of things,
the rather cautious people,
and some people are much less
much more laid back.
Anxiety only becomes a problem
if it is much more severe
or frequent than the patient
is used to or can tolerate.
The symptoms of anxiety
can be split into two major components,
that's physical and emotional symptoms.
On the physical side it can affect
almost any part of the body
and any system of the body.
So the most common ones are shaking,
sweating, feeling your heart pound,
feeling difficulty in getting a
or breathing very rapidly,
muscle pains, headaches,
a feeling of tension, etcetera.
With the emotional symptoms,
they're often a feeling of impending
doom, a feeling of loss of control,
a fear that you're going to go mad
or do something inappropriate.
Anxiety is a symptom,
it's not a diagnosis in its own right,
and so anxiety
can accompany a whole range
of psychological conditions which
range from depression, phobic disorder,
and other psychological problems.
I think the important thing
is that it's recognised.
For the treatment of anxiety
there's really two strands.
One is drug treatment and the other
is psychological treatment.
From the point of view
of psychological treatment,
are actually time-limited
and work on the basis of trying to
collaboratively with the sufferer.
In terms of drug treatments,
really, drug treatments are not
usually used for phobic disorder,
with the exception of social phobia.
But in obsessive-compulsive disorder,
we tend to use a set of drugs known
serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs,
and with those drugs there is
you may need to continue it for life,
and that actually
stopping the drug may cause relapse.
For that reason, I think it's often
good idea to do the combination therapy
and then once you've done
the psychological therapy
to try and tail off the drug,
looking for any sign of relapse.
I think the most important thing,
I'm always having to say to people,
is, whether you've got a mild anxiety
disorder or a very, very severe disorder
and no matter whether you've had it
for ten minutes or forty years,
actually anxiety is a very treatable
condition and you can improve.
I think that's the message that I'd
really like people to take on board,
to understand and to come forward,
because a lot of people suffer
in silence for far, far, far too long.