What Is anxiety?

Anxiety is something we all experience from time to time. Anxiety is a natural biological response humans innately possess that is designed to be triggered in situations of danger and prepare us for fight or flight when we are feeling threatened or afraid.

In relation to mental health however, anxiety is a future-oriented mood state in which a person dreads or attempts to prepare themselves to cope with an anticipated negative event or situation.

When anxiety becomes excessive and debilitating, it may fall under the classification of an acute anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health conditions. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 21.5% of people have had a 12-month mental disorder, with those suffering from anxiety being the most common group (17.2% of people aged 16–85 years). Despite that fact, no two people experience anxiety in the same way. There are a number of different types including:
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – characterised by excessive worrying about anything and everything beyond our control.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – feeling anxious in everyday social situations, where we fear being criticised, embarrassed or humiliated.
  • Panic Disorder – regularly experiencing panic attacks and feeling intensely anxious about having more attacks in the future.
  • Agoraphobia – anxiety about having a panic attack in an unsafe environment where we cannot escape or get help.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – performing repetitive actions such as hand washing or checking locks due to anxiety about the consequences of not doing so.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – extreme anxiety experienced after a severely stressful event.
  • Phobias – various forms of anxiety triggered by different things (i.e. fear of cats, fear of heights, fear of crowds etc).

What causes Anxiety?

So, what can be the cause of anxiety? Often it is not one single situation or trigger, but is more likely a combination of factors including:


What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

While the symptoms of normal anxiety often include sweaty palms, accelerated breathing, a spike in adrenalin and increased heart rate, what anxiety actually feels like can be much more pronounced and severe.

The physical symptoms of anxiety can include profuse sweating, trembling, a pounding heart, shortness of breath, lightheadedness and nausea. Sufferers can also feel restless and highly keyed up. Despite being easily tired, anxious people can have difficulty sleeping and often experience restless, unsatisfying sleep.

As well as extreme anxiety, emotional symptoms can include difficulty in concentrating, an inability to carry out everyday tasks, an avoidance of stressful situations and a tendency to make lists and to over-plan.

Sufferers may worry excessively, experience ongoing tension that escalates, their view of situations may distort unnaturally over time, they may feel “edgy”, easily startled, nauseaus, develop severe headaches, suffer exhaustion and endure frightening panic attacks.

When anxiety is not addressed, it can take hold of your life and impact your family relationships, quality of friendships and social life, work functionality and your ability to function in daily life without overwhelm. 

Timely intervention makes an incredible difference for sufferers of acute anxiety. 

What are some Treatments for Anxiety?

There are several methods employed by mental health professionals to treat anxiety, including:

Psychological treatments

Like CBT, psychotherapy helps clients to identify the negative thoughts and attitudes that lead to anxiety, but unlike CBT, it doesn’t teach them to change those thoughts, but rather to focus on other thoughts that are more pleasant and rewarding.

Medicinal treatments

Antidepressants can help to reduce anxiety, but they are not as effective on their own as when used in combination with psychological treatments and their positive effects only last as long as they continue to be taken.

Therapeutic treatments

Therapeutic treatments can include confronting the feared situation to develop coping skills, using relaxation methods like progressive muscle relaxation, encouraging exercise which releases anxiety counteracting chemicals, teaching structured problem solving to deal with the stressors contributing to worry, and mindfulness skills to focus on the present rather than negative thoughts.

Get Anxiety Help with Palladium Private health treatment

Helping with anxiety is our specialty at Palladium Private. Clients suffering from anxiety make up the largest group attending our programs. Anxiety is often linked with a co-condition such as depression or substance misuse. Our highly qualified therapists specialise in therapeutic modalities that help pinpoint the beliefs and experiences that trigger your anxiety. They teach techniques for observing physical responses, thoughts and emotions that result when anxiety is activated.

We teach that trying to stop a painful emotion only achieves a temporary fix at best. You might get through the moment, but when faced with a similar situation again, the same subconscious beliefs will be activated and the same physical and emotional responses will occur. So at Palladium Private, we teach you unique ways to halt, alter and reverse these patterns.

It is important to note, changing the belief that causes anxiety-driven emotions such as anger or shame, does not mean you will never experience these emotions again. What it will change however, is the time you spend in that painful emotion. Your emotions are teaching you that there is more to learn about yourself. Our unique approach and comprehensive range of therapies go deep to the underlying root cause of your anxiety, giving permanent relief.

We can help you overcome a variety of challenges

Our personally tailored, holistic and integrative programs are designed to empower you to deal with
issues in your life including:

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Social Anxiety Disorder

Panic Attacks


Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD & C-PTSD)


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Anxiety FAQ

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that tends to be characterised by excessive and persistent worry, fear, or apprehension.

It’s important to know: some anxiety is normal. We all experience it from time to time. Anxiety is a natural biological response humans innately possess, designed to be triggered in situations of danger and prepare us for fight or flight when feeling threatened or afraid.

When anxiety becomes excessive and debilitating, it may fall under an acute anxiety disorder when it becomes excessive and debilitating.

Anxiety is experienced differently by different people, and there is no one-size-fits-all way to determine whether you are experiencing an acute anxiety disorder. Knowing the most common symptoms can help:

  1. Excessive worry: Feeling excessively worried or having ongoing, intrusive thoughts that are difficult to control.
  2. Restlessness and irritability: Feeling on edge, restless, or constantly on alert. Irritability and difficulty concentrating may also be present.
  3. Physical symptoms: Experiencing physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest tightness, sweating, trembling, or gastrointestinal discomfort.
  4. Sleep disturbances: Having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restless and unrefreshing sleep.
  5. Avoidance behaviours: Avoiding certain situations or places that trigger anxiety, limiting daily activities or social interactions.
  6. Panic attacks: Sudden and intense episodes of fear or discomfort accompanied by physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or a sense of impending doom.

The severity, longevity and impact of symptoms can vary significantly between individuals.

If you suspect you may be experiencing anxiety or have concerns about your mental health, seeking support from a healthcare professional is essential. They can assess your situation, diagnose you correctly, and recommend appropriate treatment options or support resources.

Acute anxiety is considered a mental illness. It falls under the category of anxiety disorders, a group of mental health conditions characterised by excessive and persistent worry, fear, or apprehension. Anxiety disorders can significantly impact a person’s daily life, relationships, and overall sense of health and well-being.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and others. Each type has specific symptoms and diagnostic criteria, but they all involve excessive and irrational levels of anxiety or fear that interfere with functioning and quality of life.

Anxiety disorders are recognised as mental illnesses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a widely used manual for diagnosing mental health conditions. The classification as a mental illness acknowledges that anxiety disorders involve clinically significant distress and impairment.

Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions. If you are experiencing anxiety,  seek professional help from healthcare providers, therapists, or psychiatrists specialising in mental health treatment.

The exact causes of anxiety are not fully understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of biological, genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

While anxiety involves complex interactions between the brain and body, some chemical factors play a vital role in its development and manifestation.

Neurotransmitters – chemical messengers in the brain – are believed to be involved in anxiety. Here’s a brief look at a few key neurotransmitters and their role in anxiety:

  1. Serotonin: Most people have heard of serotonin – a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, emotions, and anxiety. Low serotonin levels have been associated with anxiety disorders, as it plays a role in mood stabilisation and feelings of well-being.
  2. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps reduce neural activity. It helps calm and relax the brain, reducing anxiety. Low levels of GABA or impaired GABA functioning may contribute to increased anxiety.
  3. Norepinephrine: Norepinephrine is involved in the body’s stress response and regulates attention and alertness. Imbalances or dysregulation of norepinephrine can contribute to anxiety symptoms.
  4. Cortisol: Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the body in response to stress. Chronic or prolonged elevated cortisol levels can contribute to anxiety and impact the body’s stress response.

The relationship between these neurotransmitters and anxiety is complex, and scientific researchers are still trying to understand the full relationship.

Specific chemical imbalances vary between individuals, and other factors such as genetics, life experiences, and environmental triggers also play a significant role in the development of anxiety.

As there are many causes that may cause anxiety, and these can vary between individuals, there is no definitive ‘cure’. However, anxiety disorders can be very effectively managed and treated.

Many people with anxiety disorders experience significant improvement in their symptoms and quality of life with appropriate treatment and support. Treatment approaches typically focus on reducing symptoms, improving coping mechanisms, and enhancing overall wellbeing.

The treatment types you use will depend on your symptoms and experiences, but they may include one or more of the following:

  1. Therapy: Different types of therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), can help individuals understand and manage their anxiety symptoms. Therapy provides tools and strategies to challenge negative thought patterns, modify behaviour, and develop practical coping skills.
  2. Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed by a psychiatrist or a medical professional to help manage anxiety symptoms. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or beta-blockers are commonly used medications. Medication can be used alongside therapy or as a standalone treatment.
  3. Lifestyle changes: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits can positively impact anxiety. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, stress reduction techniques (such as mindfulness or relaxation exercises), and avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol can improve mental well-being.
  4. Stress management: Learning stress management techniques, such as time management, setting boundaries, practising self-care, and engaging in activities that promote relaxation, can help reduce anxiety and enhance resilience.
  5. Building a support network: A strong support system of family, friends, or support groups can provide emotional support, understanding, and validation. Sharing experiences with others who have anxiety can be comforting and empowering.

Your approach to managing your anxiety and related symptoms should be tailored to you, and it may take some time to discover what this looks like. It’s crucial to work closely with healthcare professionals, such as therapists or psychiatrists, who can provide personalised guidance and monitor progress.

While a complete ‘cure’ for anxiety may not be possible, many individuals can successfully manage their anxiety symptoms, reduce the impact on their daily life, and lead fulfilling lives with appropriate treatment and support.

It is not uncommon for anxiety to cause chest pains. Many individuals with anxiety experience physical symptoms, and chest pain is one of the common manifestations.

The experience of chest pain due to anxiety can vary and range from mild discomfort to more severe sensations that can be mistaken for a heart-related issue. Experiencing these physical symptoms can be scary, painful and confusing, but they are not life-threatening.

When a person feels anxious or experiences a panic attack, their body’s stress response is activated. This response can lead to various physical sensations, including:

  1. Muscle tension: Anxiety can cause muscles in the chest and upper body muscles to tighten, leading to discomfort or pain.
  2. Hyperventilation: Rapid breathing or hyperventilation is common during anxiety or panic attacks. This can lead to changes in oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the body, potentially causing chest discomfort or a feeling of shortness of breath.
  3. Increased heart rate: Anxiety can cause the heart to beat faster or irregularly, which may be perceived as chest pain or palpitations.
  4. Acid reflux: Stress and anxiety can increase stomach acid, leading to acid reflux or heartburn. This can cause chest pain or a burning sensation.

While chest pain can be a symptom of anxiety, it’s crucial to rule out other potential underlying medical issues, especially if this is the first time you’ve experienced it or if the pain is severe or persistent.

Relaxation techniques can help manage the symptoms, like chest pain, caused by anxiety. This includes deep breathing, mindfulness, yoga, and similar low-intensity activities.

Treating anxiety typically involves a combination of therapeutic approaches, lifestyle changes, and, in some cases, medication.

The specific treatment plan will depend on the severity of your symptoms, personal preferences, and your healthcare professional’s recommendations.

Treating anxiety may include one or more of the following:

  1. Psychological treatments: Psychotherapy, particularly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is a widely used and practical approach for treating anxiety. CBT helps individuals identify and modify negative thought patterns and behaviours contributing to anxiety. It provides practical techniques to manage anxiety, develop coping skills, and promote relaxation.
  2. Therapeutic treatments: Therapeutic treatments can include confronting the feared situation to develop coping skills, using relaxation methods like progressive muscle relaxation, encouraging exercise which releases anxiety-counteracting chemicals, teaching structured problem solving to deal with the stressors contributing to worry, and mindfulness skills to focus on the present rather than negative thoughts.
  3. Relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation can help calm the mind and body, reducing anxiety symptoms. Regular practice of these techniques can contribute to overall stress reduction.
  4. Medicinal treatments: Antidepressants can help reduce anxiety, but they are not as effective as when combined with psychological therapies. Their positive effects only last as long as they continue to be taken.
  5. Lifestyle changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can support overall mental well-being. Engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and minimising the consumption of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol can positively impact anxiety levels.
  6. Stress management: Learning effective stress management techniques can be beneficial in reducing anxiety. Time management, setting boundaries, engaging in hobbies or activities that bring joy, and practising self-care can help alleviate stress and promote emotional well-being.
  7. Building a support network: A strong support system of family, friends, or support groups can provide emotional support, understanding, and validation. Sharing experiences with others who have anxiety can be comforting and empowering.
  8. Self-help resources: There are many self-help resources available, including books, websites, apps, and online courses, that provide information and tools for managing anxiety. However, ensuring that these resources come from reputable sources and align with evidence-based practices is essential.
  9. Mental health retreats: Sometimes, giving ourselves the time and energy to commit to learning about, understanding and managing our mental health is the best thing we can do. Time outside our busy lives allows us the breathing space to make positive changes that can last a lifetime.

Remember: Treatment for anxiety should be tailored to your unique situation, and it may take time to find the right combination of approaches that work for you.

It’s essential to seek support and guidance from a qualified professional, such as a therapist, psychiatrist, or primary care physician, who can assess your situation and guide you in developing a treatment plan.

Offering support to someone experiencing anxiety can be incredibly valuable in their journey toward managing their mental health.

Knowing that someone cares, has seen what they’re going through, and is willing to help them on their journey can make a significant difference in their well-being.

You offer support to someone experiencing anxiety by:

  1. Educating yourself: Learn about anxiety and its symptoms to better understand what the person is going through. This knowledge can help you provide informed support and empathy.
  2. Being nonjudgmental and patient: Show understanding and avoid judgment. Remember that anxiety is a real and valid experience for the person, even if their fears or worries seem irrational to you. Be patient and avoid dismissing or belittling their concerns.
  3. Listening actively: Provide a safe and supportive space for the person to express their feelings. Be attentive and empathetic while they share their thoughts and worries. Avoid interrupting or offering unsolicited advice.
  4. Validating their feelings: Validate their emotions and experiences. Let them know that it is okay to feel anxious and that you are there to support them. Reassure them that their feelings are valid and not something to be ashamed of.
  5. Encouraging professional help: If the person’s anxiety significantly impacts their life, suggest seeking professional help from a therapist, counsellor, or healthcare provider. Offer to assist them in finding appropriate resources or accompany them to appointments if needed.
  6. Offering practical support: Help with tasks that may be overwhelming for someone with anxiety. This could include assisting with errands, organising their living space, or providing transportation to appointments.
  7. Encouraging self-care: Encourage the person to engage in self-care activities that can help alleviate anxiety, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or pursuing hobbies. Offer to participate in these activities together.
  8. Be mindful of triggers: If you are aware of certain situations or triggers that exacerbate the person’s anxiety, try to be aware of them and provide support in managing or avoiding them when possible.
  9. Being a source of stability: Offer a sense of stability and consistency by maintaining a reliable and understanding presence in their life. Let them know they can rely on you for support when they need it.
  10. Respecting their boundaries: Understand that everyone’s comfort level in seeking support or discussing their anxiety may differ. Respect their boundaries and provide support that aligns with their preferences.

While your support is valuable, you are not a substitute for professional help. Encourage the person to seek professional assistance if needed and be there to support them throughout their journey.

If you are experiencing anxiety symptoms, you do not have to suffer in silence. There are many ways to reach out and get the support you need to manage your mental health better and live your life fully.

Here are a few options to explore for where to go for help with anxiety:

  1. Your GP: Start by scheduling an appointment with your GP. They can assess your symptoms, provide an initial evaluation, and recommend appropriate treatment options. They may also refer you to mental health specialists if needed.
  2. Mental health professionals: Psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, and therapists specialise in treating mental health conditions, including anxiety. They can provide a comprehensive assessment, diagnosis, and ongoing therapy. You can find mental health professionals through online directories and recommendations from your healthcare provider.
  3. Online therapy platforms: Online platforms offer therapy and counselling services through video calls or messaging. These platforms can provide convenient access to mental health support from licensed professionals.
  4. Dedicated support groups: Consider joining support groups for anxiety. Support groups can be found in local community centres, mental health organisations, or online forums. These groups provide a supportive environment to connect with others with similar experiences.
  5. Hotlines and helplines: Crisis hotlines and helplines are available 24/7 for immediate support. These helplines support a wide range of mental health concerns, including anxiety.
  6. A mental health retreat: A mental health retreat offers you community support, a dedicated team of professionals, and the time and space to get the help you need. They’re a great way to explore various treatment options and uncover the ones that work best for you while working towards a sense of overall health. Our residential retreat program combines psychological, physical, educational and social strategies with a focus on nutritional elements to help you combat and eradicate the root cause of your condition. They’re a great way to explore various treatment options and uncover the ones that work best for you while working towards a sense of overall health.

Seeking appropriate help and support from qualified professionals specialising in mental health will provide you with an accurate diagnosis, a tailored treatment plan, and ongoing support for as long as needed.

Our dedicated team is on hand to talk you through these options and explore how Palladium Private might work for you and your circumstances.

To get in touch, call 1300 573 095 to speak confidentially to one of our Admissions Consultants.

Attending anxiety recovery rehab at Palladium Private can be a transformative experience in many ways. Our approach is not just about managing symptoms, but about understanding and addressing the underlying beliefs and experiences that trigger your anxiety. 

We focus on helping you recognise and change the subconscious beliefs that lead to physical and emotional responses associated with anxiety. By teaching you to observe and alter these patterns, our team of highly trained and compassionate professionals aims to provide not just temporary relief but long-lasting change. 

Our unique methods can significantly reduce the duration and intensity of anxiety-driven emotions like anger or shame, offering a deeper understanding and more effective management of your anxiety.

Choosing Palladium Private means opting for a specialised and holistic approach to mental health care. We are particularly skilled in treating anxiety, which is a common condition among our clients. Our highly qualified therapists employ proven modalities to pinpoint the root causes of your anxiety. 

The serene, supportive environment at our facility, combined with our comprehensive range of treatments, ensures a deep, effective treatment process. As a committed anxiety retreat in Australia, we strive for permanent relief by addressing not just the symptoms but the core of your anxiety.

Our program for the rehabilitation of anxiety will be a personalised blend of various therapeutic approaches. It includes one-on-one therapy, group activities and practices like mindfulness and meditation. We also emphasise the importance of physical health in managing anxiety, incorporating nutritional guidance and physical activities. 

The program is designed to help you or your loved one understand and change the thought patterns and beliefs that trigger anxiety, equipping you with sustainable strategies to manage and overcome it.

Assessing the suitability of our method involves considering your specific needs and readiness for an immersive, holistic treatment approach. Our anxiety recovery retreat is most effective for those committed to understanding and changing deep-rooted patterns contributing to their anxiety. 

We encourage you to contact us and undergo a consultation with our admissions team, who can provide insights into how our program can be tailored to your specific condition and goals.

Besides our anxiety retreat, Palladium Private offers treatment for a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, drug and alcohol misuse, PTSD and C-PTSD. Our approach is adaptable to various conditions, ensuring a comprehensive strategy to tackle different mental and emotional health challenges. We focus on the underlying causes rather than just symptoms, providing effective treatment for a broad spectrum of mental health issues.