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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Adults Mental Health Support

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Break The Stigma - Anxiety

BTS Anxiety

Myths and Facts

MYTH:People with anxiety could just snap out of it if they really wanted to.’
FACT: It's very difficult to just overcome anxiety disorders without help.

MYTH: ‘Anxiety is caused by a bad experience or stressful ordeal.
FACT: Why someone feels anxious is complex – sometimes there might not even be an obvious reason.

MYTH: ‘It's obvious when someone has anxiety or an anxiety disorder.’
FACT: You may be sitting next to someone at work or even at the dinner table, anywhere and have no idea they are suffering. 

How to manage Anxiety Attacks:

Focus on your breathing, know that it will pass, and you are going to be ok.

Use your senses to help ground you. What can you smell, touch, taste etc.

Close your eyes, this helps blocks out extra stimulation and you can focus easier on your breathing.

Stay with the moment, try not to move or avoid a situation. The panic or anxiety will pass so try to accept it for what it is.

Do something physical, raise your arms slowly, stamp on the spot, do some stretches. Try to occupy the mind to help slow down the attack.

How to help someone during an attack:

Avoid telling the person to “just breathe”, try take deep breaths for the person to follow.

Asking too many questions can fluster people so let them speak when they are ready to and if they want to.

Be reassuring, your presence can help calm someone down by just being there.

Offer them water, or to get fresh air if they feel steady enough and support them to that if they want.

Know that some people might want to be on their own so let them be and check back on them after a couple of minutes.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – challenges the way a person thinks and reacts. It works on the thoughts we have that affect how we feel, your perception of a situation rather than the actual situation or moment.

Exposure therapy – exposing you to situations or objects you may fear with the idea that repeat exposure will increase the amount of control you feel you have and decrease the anxiety levels.

Complimentary therapies – other things that can be done alongside therapies are: exercise is a natural stress reliever, relaxation techniques – mindfulness, meditation etc, Biofeedback- recognising your bodies reactions and controlling them,    Hypnosis – allowing you to face fears and look at them in different ways while in a state of relaxation. 

Help available

Check out our Local Services page for where you can go for support!


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