Mental health support network for PWWP

Mental health illness support network for People working with people

What is anxiety disorder?

What is anxiety disorder?

Everybody experiences stress or anxiety at some time-this is a natural response, useful in helping us to avoid dangerous situations and motivating us to solve everyday problems. Only when the symptoms are more intense or long-lasting do they interfere with a person’s ability to do things which others take for granted. Anxiety can vary in how long it lasts, from a few moments to many years.

An anxiety disorder differs from normal anxiety in the following ways:

  • It is more severe:
  • It is long-lasting:
  • It interferes with the person’s work or relationship:

Many people with anxiety disorder do not realise that there are treatments, which can help them have a better life. Although up to 6 percent of adults in Wales reported currently being treated for anxiety, many more will NOT seek professional help.

Anxiety disorders are common, causes considerable distress and are often untreated which is costly to both the individual and society. However a range of effective treatment are available which do help people get better and remain well.

General symptoms of anxiety:

Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways: physical, psychological and behavioural.

Physical effects:

  • Cardiovascular; palpitations, chest pain, rapid heart beat, flushing.
  • Respiratory; hyperventilation, shortness of breath.
  • Neurological; dizziness, headache, sweating, tingling and numbness.
  • Gastrointestinal; choking, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Musculoskeletal; muscle aches and pains, (especially neck and shoulders and lower back) tremor and shaking.

Psychological effects;


  • Unrealistic and/or excessive fear and worry (about past or future events).
  • Mind racing or going blank.
  • Decreased concentration and memory.
  • Difficulty making  decisions.
  • Irritable, impatience, anger.
  • Confusion.
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge, nervousness.
  • Tiredness, sleep disturbances, vivid dreams.
  • Behavioural effects.
  • Avoiding of situation.
  • Obsessive or compulsive behaviour.
  • Distress in social situations.
  • Phobic behaviour

To follow a page to test for anxiety.



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