Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, physical distress, and a tendency to avoid certain situations. It can be a symptom of other health conditions, or a mental disorder in itself.


What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear that is excessive or difficult to control and is often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat and stomach upset. It is often described as a feeling of butterflies in the stomach, tension in the neck, sweaty palms, and/or a racing heart.

Anxiety can affect an individual's ability to function normally in daily life. It can cause serious problems at work, in school, and/or with family and friends.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in Australia. On average, one in four people are expected to experience anxiety at some stage in their life. Over two million Australians experience anxiety in a 12-month period.

Anxiety vs Anxiety Disorder

It is important to note that anxiety is a normal human emotion, which is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors.

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives. It is completely normal to experience anxious emotions in certain situations. For instance, it would be normal for you to experience a racing heart or sweaty palms if you narrowly missed a road accident.

However, anxiety can cause significant distress, particularly when it is unexpected or when it occurs in situations that are not dangerous. Persistent and uncontrollable anxiety may turn into a debilitating condition, causing people to lose sleep, become isolated, and make irrational decisions.

Anxiety disorders include disorders that share features of excessive fear and anxiety and related behavioral disturbances. The anxiety disorders differ from one another in the types of objects or situations that induce fear, anxiety, or avoidance behavior, and the associated cognitive ideation.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

The signs and symptoms of anxiety may vary from benign to severe. The sooner you recognize them, the sooner you can seek support and recover. You may also help a loved one cope better.

Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety may be caused by a wide range of factors.

Common Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Panic Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder

Specific Phobia

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Treatment of Anxiety

Anxiety may be treated in a number of different ways.