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Anxious, The Person Who is...

This chapter explores the issues surrounding anxiety and how they can be managed. The experience of anxiety is normal and essential to our life and growth. Any demand or threat made upon us, either conscious or unconscious, causes our body to make a nonspecific response called anxiety. We call these demands or threats upon us stress. Stress means the strain that arises as a result of conflict. Whenever the essential needs of a person are threatened you will find stress. It is an inescapable part of life and is greatly influenced by a person’s own perceptions and interpretations. Normally our body puts into operation mechanisms to restore us to a balanced state as soon as possible after the stress that caused the anxiety has occurred, but we all vary as to how much anxiety a particular stressful event (or stressor) will cause. A major result of chronic, intense anxiety is disease. As a health worker you are expected to assess anxiety in your clients by observing emotional expressions and bodily responses and actions and by noting which events or stressors result in severe anxiety reactions. You should also examine the factors that may influence the number and frequency of anxious responses to stress. The best way to help clients relieve their anxiety is to help them identify the typical responses they have to anxiety and the level of stress they can tolerate. Then you can help them to alter their lives to reduce the stress and to change the level of anxiety they experience. Learning new responses to stress may involve changes in lifestyle.

Contents include

  • what is anxiety?
  • caring interventions
  • case studies
  • using the solution-focused behavioural change model.
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Author / Editor Biographies

Carolyn Dixon was, from 1995 to early 1999, the psychiatric clinical nurse consultant in the Emergency Department of St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Her work there began as a project to study the effectiveness of this innovative role. Carolyn is a trained psychiatric and general nurse who has worked in hospital, education and community settings both in Australia and overseas. It was while she was working as a nurse teacher at Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne that she first worked with Bernadette Keane. Carolyn has presented a number of conference papers on aspects of psychiatric...

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