Understanding What Anxiety Actually Is

Anxiety is a common disorder that involves feeling overwhelmed and stressed, fear, or panic. There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders. When anxiety builds up or the feelings become too intense, it can cause a person to have a panic attack. Anxiety disorders often cause people to experience symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. These types of disorders can be hard to manage, therefore it is important to recognize the symptoms and get help. The symptoms of anxiety disorders often start during childhood or as a teenager, and continue into adulthood.


The most common signs and symptoms of anxiety include feeling nervous, feeling a lack of control, having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom, having an increased heart rate, hyperventilation or breathing rapidly, sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, or difficulty concentrating or thinking about anything other than what you are currently worrying about. 

There are a number of risk factors that may increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder. The risk factors that may increase your risk of developing an anxiety disorder include:

·         Being female. Women suffer from anxiety disorders more often than men.  

·         Trauma. Having a history of abuse or trauma puts you at a higher risk of developing an anxiety disorder.

·         Stress due to an illness. Having a health condition or serious illness can cause significant worry and anxiety.

·         Accumulation of stress. An accumulation of multiple stressful life events may trigger excessive anxiety.

·         Personality. People with certain personality types are more susceptible to anxiety disorders than are others.

·         Mental health disorders. People with other mental health disorders, such as depression, often experience anxiety disorder as well.

·         Having a family history of anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can run in families.

·         Drugs or alcohol. Drug or alcohol use or abuse or withdrawal can cause or worsen anxiety.

Common anxiety disorders:

Social anxiety disorder: Involves high levels of anxiety, fear and avoidance of social situations due to feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness and concern about being judged or viewed negatively by others.

Panic disorder: Involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that leads to panic attacks. You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, heart palpitations or chest pain.

Generalized anxiety disorder: Includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events. The worry is usually out of proportion to the actual circumstance, is difficult to control and interferes with your ability to focus on current tasks. It often occurs along with other anxiety disorders or depression.