What is Anxiety?

We all feel nervous or worried about certain situations or things on a daily basis. A certain amount of anxiety is normal. It can actually help provide energy and motivation, as long as it is mild to moderate in intensity. When anxiety heightens to a more severe level, it interrupts everyday living. It causes confusion and helplessness. It places you in the state of severe worry that is out of proportion with reality. This level of anxiety is not normal. It is a mental disorder that refers to the feeling of fear and apprehension that is so strong that it creates physical symptoms, including sweating and stress. It goes beyond the mild and short-lived anxiety one feels before giving a speech before a crowd or walking down the aisle. A chronic and long-term illness, it is characterized by unrealistic and persistent worries and fears. It can significantly affect the quality of a person’s life, as the fear can last for weeks or months at a time. Common concerns that affect people with anxiety include finances, family issues, health, and career. These are everyday things that people with anxiety cannot cope with properly. Even though the illness can affect people of all ages, it most commonly occurs between childhood and middle age. Anxiety as a mental illness can range from mild to severe in intensity. Sufferers with mild anxiety may be able to maintain their jobs and appear to function well in social situations. People with severe anxiety, however, usually face many challenges and difficulties. They may find it unbearable to work and socialize properly. A small change of plans may set them off. Simple everyday tasks and activities may be unbearable for them. Thus, they may withdraw from various situations and scenarios. The illness may come with numerous emotional and physical symptoms. There are general characteristics of anxiety, and there are specific characteristics depending on the different types of anxiety disorders, which include social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and more. Certain situations or people may trigger the physical symptoms, but they may come and go for years. Since anxiety affects the region of the brain that regulates communication, the emotional symptoms affect creative self-expression and functioning in relationships. It can significantly worsen if the person does not seek professional help. Therefore, it is very important to undergo treatment for this illness. Learning about the disorder is the first step of treatment.

The physical symptoms of anxiety include:

Rapid heartbeat Breathlessness Shaking or trembling Twitching Sweating Clammy hands Dizziness or lightheadedness Fullness in chest or throat Body aches and muscle tension Having to use the restroom frequently Gastrointestinal issues or diarrhea Jumpiness Tiredness

Sleep disruption

The emotional symptoms of anxiety include: Excessive worry Irritability Restlessness Fear of upcoming events or situations Feeling of doom Difficulty in concentration


Anxiety is often a symptom of another disorder. Depression and anxiety, for example, often go hand in hand.