Anxiety Disorder

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. The first day of school, going to a job interview, or giving a speech may cause most people to feel fearful and nervous.

Anxiety is very common and can be normal in stressful situations such as public speaking or taking a test. Anxiety is only an indicator of underlying disease when feelings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily living.

Common Examples of Anxiety Include:

  • A chronic, high level of anxiety may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder involves persistent and excessive anxiety for at least six months.
  • Having a specific phobia means becoming anxious when exposed to a specific circumstance.
  • Social phobia is characterized by anxiety in social or performance situations.
  • A person with panic disorder experiences recurrent, unexpected panic attacks.
  • Agoraphobia involves anxiety about having panic attacks in difficult or embarrassing situations.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder entails obsessions, compulsions, or both.
  • Post–traumatic stress disorder is a set of psychological and physiological responses to a highly traumatic event.
  • Biological factors implicated in the onset of anxiety disorders include genes, different sensitivity to anxiety, the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin, and brain damage.
  • Conditioning and learning may contribute to the development of phobias.
  • Some styles of thinking may make people more susceptible to anxiety disorders.