This chronically worried condition can lead to debilitating panic attacks—feelings of intense fear accompanied by adrenaline-charged symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. It can also cause introspective ruminating behaviors resulting in loneliness, withdrawal, and depression.
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Short-lived episodes of anxiety are normal and can actually enhance productivity. But if they last beyond truly stressful moments and seep into everyday situations, they can be a clinical problem.
Too much anxiety can affect your relationships, your work, and even your health. So it’s important to know how to differentiate between healthy anxiety and a potential anxiety disorder, and what to do if you see your anxiety getting out of control.
CBT helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviors before they spiral.
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.
In the case of an anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear may be with you all the time. It is intense and sometimes debilitating.
This type of anxiety may cause you to stop doing things you enjoy. In extreme cases, it may prevent you from entering an elevator, crossing the street, or even leaving your home. If left untreated, the anxiety will keep getting worse.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. According to the American Psychiatric Association , women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
If you are experiencing chest tightness or shortness of breath now, ask yourself first:
Paying too much attention is called hypervigilance and body scanning. It is associated with anxiety.