Anxiety And Panic Attacks

Causes, Effects and What to Do to Reduce It to a Manageable Level

What Is Anxiety

Anxiety is a word we use to describe feelings of unease, worry and fear. It incorporates both the emotions and the physical sensations we might experience when we are worried or nervous about something. Although we usually find it unpleasant, anxiety is related to the ‘fight or flight’ response – our normal biological reaction to feeling threatened.

We all know what it’s like to feel anxious from time to time. It’s common to feel tense, nervous and perhaps fearful at the thought of a stressful event or decision you’re facing – especially if it could have a big impact on your life.

It’s understandable to have worries about how you will perform, or what the outcome will be. For a brief period you might even find it hard to sleep, eat or concentrate. Then usually, after a short while or when the situation has passed, the feelings of worry stop

When Does Anxiety Become a Mental Health Problem?

Because anxiety is a normal human experience, it’s sometimes hard to know when it’s becoming a problem for you – but if your feelings of anxiety are very strong, or last for a long time, it can be overwhelming.

For example:

  • You might find that you’re worrying all the time, perhaps about things
    that are a regular part of everyday life, or about things that aren’t
    likely to happen – or even worrying about worrying
  • You might regularly experience unpleasant physical and psychological
    effects of anxiety and maybe panic attacks
  • Depending on the kind of problems you experience, you might be
    given a diagnosis of a specific anxiety disorder
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