Anxiety Facts


Anxiety is a real medical issue with symptoms that are:

  • Emotional (dread, fearing panic, fears of social situations, etc.)
  • Physical (heart racing, dizziness, shortness of breath, lump in the throat, tingling, etc.)
  • Mental (worrying, preoccupation with fear, fear of dying or going crazy, etc.)

If you have questions about your symptoms and whether you might have anxiety, there are several excellent self-tests on the website of the Anxiety Disorder Association of America, Do be aware that many web resources offer free self-tests, but most also want to sell you a program for self-help. A good evaluation by a skilled professional should be the next step to follow a self-test on the internet.

Different kinds of anxiety have different causes and different kinds of anxiety have get worse in common life situations. Some causes are:

  • a genetic predisposition to feel anxiety when under stress
  • feeling anxiety as extremely unpleasant and necessary to avoid
  • exceptional or on-going stress
  • trauma in the recent or distant past
  • other diverse medical, biological or life situations

Anxiety disorders are treatable.

Treatment varies with the type of anxiety and whether a person experiences more than one kind of anxiety. Improvement in physical symptoms, such as panic, may occur fairly quickly- within a few months – while diminishing persistent worry may take longer. Treatment is always geared to individual situations: what type(s) of anxiety, how long the condition has lasted, what kinds of life situations affect the individual, etc. No single plan works for everyone.