What is Anxiety?

Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it can motivate you and help you to stay focused under pressure. But when worries, fears, or panic attacks start to get in the way of your life, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Whatever form of anxiety you’re dealing with, there are many things you can do to gain peace of mind and take back control of your life.

Anxiety Disorders and Anxiety Attacks

It’s normal to feel anxious when facing a challenging situation, but if worries and fears are impacting your daily life, there are steps you can take to regain control.

What is an anxiety disorder?

Triggered when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation. In moderation, anxiety isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can help you to stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. But when anxiety is constant or overwhelming—when it interferes with your relationships and daily activities—you’ve likely crossed the line from normal anxiety into the territory of an anxiety disorder. Since anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, symptoms may vary from person to person. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Someone else may struggle with a disabling fear of driving, or uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension, worrying about anything and everything. But despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders illicit an intense fear or worry out of proportion to the situation at hand. While having an anxiety disorder can be disabling, preventing you from living the life you want, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues—and are highly treatable.

Do I have an anxiety disorder?

If you identify with any of the following seven signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:

  1. Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge?
  2. Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
  3. Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake?
  4. Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way?
  5. Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
  6. Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
  7. Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner?

Signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders

In addition to the primary symptom of excessive and irrational fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms of an anxiety disorder include:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Watching for signs of danger
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Irritability
  • Feeling like your mind’s gone blank


But anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety also involves a wide range of physical symptoms, including:

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Stomach upset
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension or twitches
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Insomnia


Symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is finally recognized.

Start Your Therapy Journey

Call or e-mail to schedule a brief phone conversation, giving you a chance to ask questions and share with me a bit more about yourself. After that, we can decide together if we are a good fit.

About Us

At Perceptions Wellness you will find therapists that are compassionate and committed to your therapeutic goal.