Q My husband has suffered from anxiety for most of his adult life to varying degrees. When he was younger the episodes of it were intense but not frequent and he was relatively unaffected by it. However, for the past four years or so it has become more intense, culminating in prolonged and acute periods of panic and anxiety over the past 18 months.

The trigger (but I don’t think the cause) is usually pain. He will, as we all do when we get older, feel some pain in his body — a trapped nerve in his neck, wear-and-tear in his joints (we are both in our late fifties) etc — but he will catastrophise; for instance when he had a bout of gastritis he

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