What is Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent and among the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders. The most common signs of anxiety include uncontrollable worry, feeling tense or “on edge,” and physiological arousal such as rapid heart beat and breathing, nausea, and dizziness. Most people are familiar with the typical day-to-day anxieties surrounding uncertain, unfamiliar, and stressful situations such as an upcoming exam, a job interview, or a public speaking event. While this type of anxiety can certainly cause discomfort and get in the way of performing one’s best, this alone does not constitute an anxiety disorder. When anxiety becomes persistent, begins to interfere with living one’s life in a valued manner, and/or causes health or safety concerns, seeking professional help from a trained mental health professional (e.g., therapist, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist) is recommended.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
nervousness, irritability, stress
uncontrollable worry, racing thoughts, intrusive/unwanted thoughts, excessive planning, recurring distressing thoughts, preoccupation with uncertainty, obsessive thinking
rapid heart beat, nausea, rapid breathing (e.g., hyperventilation), dizziness or feeling faint, chest tightness, frequent headaches, low energy, fatigue
avoiding places that elicit anxiety, fidgeting, shaking or trembling, speaking faster than usual, hypervigilance, compulsive behavior