What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is defined as a state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties. It is also described as a state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from anticipation of a realistic or fantasised event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological function. Anxiety causes a person’s mind to think of difficulties and dwell on perceived negative circumstances and situations.

What Causes Anxiety?

The cause of anxiety and anxiety disorders isn’t pinpointed on one specific thing. Anxiety typically develops from a combination of things. These can include environmental stress, changes in brain chemistry, and a person’s genetic disposition. Anxiety is also associated with problems in the brain that control fear and other emotions.

Everyone will feel anxiety at some point in their lives. It’s natural to feel anxious here and there. It can show up before a test at school, if you’re having problems at work, difficulties in a relationship, or before making changes and important decisions. Anxiety becomes a problem when it turns into a common occurrence and develops into an anxiety disorder.


Anxiety covers a wide-range of symptoms. These can vary in severity and often include the following:

  • Tension
  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Apprehension
  • Panic
  • Inability to remain calm
  • Problems sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness

What Is an Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is part of a group of mental illnesses. It is a condition that causes unnecessary distress and interferes with a person’s ability to live a normal life. Constant and overwhelming fear and worry are common in people with an anxiety disorder. Many people suffer from anxiety disorders that are incapacitating.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that encompasses several different types of anxiety issues. Some of these include:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This is a common type of anxiety that makes people feel unwarranted worry, tension, and nervousness for no (or very little) reason.

Social Anxiety Disorder: Social anxiety is when a person feels overwhelmed to be in regular, everyday social situations. They may feel worried or self-conscious around others, and feel as if they are being judged or mocked by others.

Panic Disorder: Also known as panic attacks, panic disorder is when anxiety becomes so intense that a person experiences a physical reaction. Chest pain, sweating, and increased heart rate are all common in people who suffer from panic disorder. Some people with panic disorder can feel like they are having a heart attack.

Treatment for Anxiety

Most people diagnosed with anxiety will receive one or more of the following treatments:

Prescription Medication: Anti-depressants are commonly prescribed to people with anxiety. Prozac and Lexapro are common anti-anxiety prescriptions. Benzodiazepines such as Alprazolam (Xanax), Clonazepam (Klonopin), and Diazepam (Valium) are often used in the treatment of anxiety and anxiety disorders.

Psychotherapy: Counselling and speaking with a therapist can also help people with anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a common behaviour therapy used in the treatment of anxiety and various anxiety disorders. It helps them to recognize the thought patterns and behaviours that lead to panic and anxiety.

Tips for Managing Symptoms of Anxiety

There are several ways to manage symptoms of anxiety. These include:

  • Eliminating or cutting down on caffeine. Caffeine is known to exacerbate symptoms of anxiety.
  • Get plenty of sleep and adequate rest.
  • Be sure to get regular exercise
  • Cut down on processed foods and sugar.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
  • Learn natural ways to relax such as yoga or meditation

Knowing how to manage anxiety can help you control symptoms and live a more balanced life.

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