What is anxiety? The UK NHS describes anxiety as ‘feelings of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.’ It can be a symptom in itself and it can be part of other conditions.

GAD is when you worry to much about different things –  excessive worry and difficulty relaxing. It can also be described as when our natural fight or flight instincts start to overcompensate themselves. The signs and sensations such as heightened awareness, racing thoughts, adrenaline rush become troublesome in the normal course of processing day to day events in someone’s life. Fear unattached to anything concrete or immediate can cause nervousness, sweating and mild paranoia. It can cause someone’s behaviour to change in the way they think and feel about things.

Part of SWIM’s work in the community is to transform life outcomes for older men that have been involved with the criminal justice system. Fifty percent of the population of prisoners have been identified as suffering from anxiety (and/ or depression) compared with 15% of the general population. The lasting effects impact daily life and present as obstacles for reintegrating back into society and family life. Mental health affects young male offenders at higher rates than their peers in the general population, which again presents obstacles and has the potential to negatively impact family life in the future.

It may be that you are experiencing physical symptoms as well. You can get help to define where you are in your mental health by contacting our partners IRIE Mind, Talk Changes or asking your GP to refer you to Tavistock and Portman.