Dr Lynne Korte

The Conditions I Treat

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Anxiety is a normal experience and moderate levels of anxiety can be beneficial and motivate us in life. However, sometimes anxiety becomes more severe which can be extremely debilitating and has a serious impact on our daily lives. Symptoms of anxiety include increased heart rate, hyperventilation (over breathing), dizziness. difficulty in breathing, a tightness in our chest, tension headaches, hot flushes, shaking, heart palpitations, sleeplessness and excessive worrying to name a few.

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Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is a type of anxiety characterized by brief or sudden attacks of intense terror that leads to shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. Panic attacks tend to arise abruptly and peak after 10 minutes, but they can last for hours. Panic disorders usually develop after someone experiences a frightening experience or prolonged stress, but they can also develop spontaneously. People experiencing a panic attack often fear they may die as the symptoms are so intense. In addition, panic attacks lead to fear of having future attacks, which may cause the person to make drastic life changes in order to avoid situations that bring on these attacks.

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A Phobia is an excessive fear of a particular object or situation. A person with a phobia will experience symptoms of anxiety or panic when exposed to the feared object or situation and will try to avoid it.   They may realise that their fear is exaggerated but be unable to face the feared object.  The fear then starts to impact upon their life, limiting where they can go and what they can do to the point where it can threaten relationships, jobs and health. Common phobias include fears of flying, heights, going out the house, socializing, spiders or snakes. However a person can develop a phobia of just about anything.

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Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. In people with GAD, the worry is often unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person's thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships. The anxiety can lead to physical symptoms such as restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, headaches, sweating, difficulty concentrating, nausea, tiredness, trouble falling or staying asleep, trembling, being easily startled.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is a long-term condition characterised by thoughts that make you feel anxious (obsessions) and behaviours you employ to reduce this anxiety (compulsions) and is one of the most common mental health problems. Individuals suffering with OCD experience these thoughts and behaviours as repetitive, distressing, and intrusive. They often recognise that their compulsions are unreasonable or irrational, but they serve to alleviate their anxiety. Often, the logic of someone with OCD will appear superstitious, such as an insistence in walking in a certain pattern with the belief that this will prevent some catastrophe from occurring. OCD can disable the life of the individual to such a dramatic extent that depression can also be a problem, as well as cause damage to relationships both professionally and personally.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition which develops after you have been involved in, or witnessed, a serious trauma. The trauma may have left you feeling intense fear, helplessness or horror. In some people PTSD develops soon after the trauma. However, in others the symptoms may only develop several months, or even years after the trauma. Symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of situations that remind you of the trauma, hypervigilance or a constant feeling of being on guard and a heightened awareness of possible danger around you, jumpiness, severe anxiety, depression and sleeplessness.

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Health Anxiety

Those affected by health anxiety have an obsessional preoccupation with the idea that they are currently (or will be) experiencing a physical illness. The most common health anxieties tend to centre on conditions such as cancer, HIV, AIDs, etc. but can be around any physical illness at all. Those who are affected by health anxiety are convinced that harmless physical symptoms are indicators of serious disease or severe medical conditions. For example, if a person experiencing health anxiety has a persistent headache, they may believe that they have developed a brain tumour. This often leads to the individual seeking medical advice repeatedly and constantly worrying about their health.

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Social Anxiety

A person with social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, has a persistent fear of social situations and embarrassment when meeting or talking to other people. Social anxiety disorder is very different from being shy and disrupts daily life, relationships, school, university, or work. The condition can even affect a person while they are at home if they need to speak on the phone. Social anxiety disorder is one of the UK's most common anxiety disorders. It can affect adults and children, and affects more women than it does men. People with social anxiety disorder suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about social situations and the negative opinions of others. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include intense anxiety in social situations, avoidance of social situations, physical symptoms of anxiety, including confusion, pounding heart, sweating, shaking, blushing, muscle tension and upset stomach.

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Most people experience periods of unhappiness in their life but when someone has depression they experience a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness and emptiness. Depression can take over all aspects of a person’s life leaving them feeling disinterested in day to day activities and disconnected from their surroundings. Common symptoms of depression include lack of motivation, difficulties concentrating, negative thoughts about life and future, difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping, irritability, tearfulness, suicidal thoughts, changes in appetite, loss of sex drive and lack of enthusiasm and pleasure. Depression often causes people to withdraw from society thereby having an impact on their relationships and leaving them feeling even more alone. They often neglect to seek help because they feel it will get better or that they should just “pull themselves together”. However, if left untreated depression can become a downward spiral having an impact not only on relationships but also on employment and health.

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Post-natal depression

Post-natal depression is a type of depression that some women experience after having a baby. It is caused by a combination of factors including the physical and emotional stress of looking after a newborn baby, a lack of sleep and hormonal changes that occur shortly after pregnancy. It can be exacerbated by an individual’s social circumstances, such as money worries, poor social support or relationship problems. It results in the new mother feeling that they are unable to cope and includes symptoms such as tearfulness, irritability and mood changes as well as other symptoms of depression. The mother often feels like a failure or that they are a bad mother and therefore does not seek help. Postnatal depression is common and can be treated if the person is willing to reach out for help.

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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a condition which affects your moods. Your mood will swing between manic or high moods and low moods or depression. During the mania you may experience symptoms including restlessness, irritability, talking very fast, racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, feeling you have a lot of energy, reduced need for sleep, excessive and inappropriate spending, increased sexual drive, increased risky behaviour, misusing drugs or alcohol and an increased feeling of omnipotence. People often ‘like’ being in the manic episode but the aftermath is usually devastating as they realise the things they have said or done. It can also be very upsetting for family and friends who care for the person having the manic episode and often results in rifts in the person’s social network. During the period of low mood the person experiences symptoms in line with depression. The episodes (both manic and depressive) can vary in both length and frequency (from weeks to months) and can have varying lengths of stability in between.

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Just about anything can become an addiction including drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, shopping, food, exercise and sex to name a few. Addiction can take a serious toll on your physical and psychological health. If you find your day to day functioning or health is affected or the behaviour takes up too much time or money then you may be facing an addiction. Addictions left untreated can lead to relationship breakdown, difficulties in employment, financial concerns, difficulty sleeping, anxiety or panic attacks and depression.

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Anger Management

Anger is a normal and healthy emotion. However, if we are unable to control our anger and release it in a socially unacceptable way, it can become dangerous and extremely destructive. This can result in problems in relationships and in our work place and can leave us feeling depressed or anxious. Therapy can help us learn how to control our anger and how to use strategies to respond constructively to situations which trigger our anger.

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Assertiveness Training

Are you finding it difficult to be assertive, either in your workplace or in your personal life? Assertiveness means standing up for your rights and expressing your thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a direct, honest and appropriate way. Many people find it difficult to be assertive which results in them either being quite passive and feeling unable to get their point across or becoming aggressive and worrying that they ‘came on too strong’. Assertiveness training can help you learn how to develop your assertiveness skills in order to improve interpersonal relationships.

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Relationship Difficulties

Difficulties in relationship are one of the most common reasons for people seeking therapy. This can include difficulties between partners, between parent and child, between friends or within the work place. I help individuals and couples deal with a range of problems including arguments, jealousy, adultery, domestic violence, parenting conflicts, sexual problems and family difficulties to name a few.

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Bereavement is the feeling of grief when we lose someone or something close to us. All of us at some point will experience death and loss and may experience a range of feelings that go along with it including shock, numbness, anger, sadness or even regret. Grief can affect us on every level and we can feel physically exhausted, mentally slow and unable to imagine a life moving forwards. Many people find their own way of dealing with the loss but others can find it difficult to process and without some help and support can suffer from long term difficulties including mental health illnesses such as depression.

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Life Transition & Adjustment Issues

We all go through changes in life for example getting married, getting divorced, becoming parents, moving countries, changes in career, redundancy, retirement. At times these changes can be daunting and lead to feelings of fear or uncertainty. Talking through the changes can help to clarify your thoughts and feelings, make sense of your experiences and give you more confidence when facing the next stage in your life.

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Psychosomatic Symptoms

Psychosomatic disorders are physical illnesses or disorders that are thought to be caused, or made worse, by mental factors. There is often no physical cause of the illness and therefore in treating it, it is important to get to the underlying emotion and help the individual to work through the psychological aspects that are causing or exacerbating the illness.

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Self Esteem & Self Development

Many people approach therapy not for a specific problem but rather as they want to improve their self-esteem and/or invest in self-development. Therapy can help us to gain a greater awareness of who we are and why we do things. It can lead to a better understanding of our values and goals in life and help us to overcome barriers in order to achieve those goals. Therapy can help us to improve our confidence in ourselves and our motivation to do the things we want to do which can result to a more fulfilling life.

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Stress Management

Stress management is one of the most common mental health difficulties in the UK and is becoming more and more prevalent due to the busy lives we lead and the greater demands placed on us. It can affect our relationships, work environments and can lead to serious disorders including depression and panic attacks. Symptoms of stress include irritability, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, lack of motivation, loss of libido, social withdrawal and mood swings. Physical symptoms can also a result from high levels of stress and include headaches, high blood pressure, skin disorders and IBS among others. Therapy aims to help individuals explore the cause of the stress and employ stress management techniques to reduce the stress and ensure it is managed effectively in the future.

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Survivors of Sexual Abuse

People who have experienced sexual abuse, whether recently or in the past may struggle with a number of difficulties including poor self-esteem/self-worth, feelings of guilt and shame around the abuse, a feeling of isolation and inability to talk to their loved ones about the abuse, difficulties in relationships, use of poor coping strategies (such as excessive drinking or self-harm behaviour), depression, anxiety and PTSD. Therapy provides a safe space in which the thoughts and emotions around the abuse can be explored and processed. It allows the individual to let go of the trauma and the impact it has on their current life and to develop their confidence and self-esteem for a more positive journey forward.

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Traumatic experiences are situations that are frightening, overwhelming, life threatening or difficult to control. This can include accidents, rape, assault, mugging and personal injury. Following a trauma people may experience anxiety, depression, guilt, flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping or concentrating and changes in appetite. The symptoms can progress to PTSD and can continue to impact on a person’s life for many years. Trauma therapy helps a person to work on these symptoms and to process the trauma to prevent deeper issues form developing later in life.

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