Anxiety is a sense of unease resulting from real or perceived threat, producing worry or fear. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel anxious about social situations or experience phobias such as heights, going out.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
The psychological (mental) symptoms of anxiety include:
feeling worried or uneasy a lot of the time
having difficulty sleeping, which makes you feel tired
not being able to concentrate
being extra alert
feeling on edge or not being able to relax
needing frequent reassurance from other people
Feeling anxious can not only affect you emotionally, it can also cause physical symptoms, such as:
a pounding heartbeat
palpitations (an irregular heartbeat)
loss of appetite
needing the toilet more frequently
‘butterflies’ in your tummy
When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These cause the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating.
Anxiety can also be a symptom of another condition, such as panic disorder (when you have panic attacks) or post-traumatic stress disorder, which is caused by life threatening/changing, or other distressing events.
Is anxiety bad for you?
A little bit of anxiety may be helpful. For example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.
Long-term anxiety may cause more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension). You may also be more likely to develop infections.
If you’re feeling anxious all the time, or it’s affecting your day-to-day life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Ref NHS Choices
The NICE recommended treatments for Anxiety Disorders is mostly CBT. EMDR is also proven to be effective for the treatment of Anxiety Disorders such as Phobias, Panic Disorders and Generalised Anxiety Disorders.