What is Anxiety?

Dr Priya Sharma

Dr Priya Sharma

BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 6 years of experience

November 24, 2020 Brain Diseases 929 Views

English हिन्दी Bengali Tamil

What is the meaning of Anxiety?

A feeling of dread, fear, and uneasiness is known as anxiety. Anxiety may lead to sweating, restlessness, feeling tense, and having a rapid heartbeat. Anxiety may occur as a normal reaction to stress and may help you to cope. Anxiety may provide you with a boost of energy and help you to focus. However, for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders, fear may not be temporary and could be overwhelming.

In this article, we will be discussing in detail about anxiety.

  • What are the different types of Anxiety Disorders?
  • What are the Causes of Anxiety?
  • What are the risk factors for Anxiety?
  • What are the symptoms of Anxiety?
  • How to diagnose Anxiety?
  • What is the treatment for Anxiety?
  • What are the complications of Anxiety?
  • How to prevent Anxiety?

What are the different types of Anxiety Disorders?

Conditions in which the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time are known as anxiety disorders. The different types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Panic disorder: A condition in which one experiences recurrent panic attacks at unexpected times and the individual may live in fear of the next panic attack.
  • Social anxiety disorder: It is a condition of feeling extreme fear of being judged in social conditions.
  • Phobia: An extreme fear of a specific situation, activity, or object.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Irrational, recurrent thoughts that can lead to the performance of repeated, specific behaviors.
  • Illness anxiety disorder: A condition in which there is anxiety about your health.
  • Separation anxiety disorder: The fear of being away from home or family members.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: A condition in which anxiety occurs after a traumatic event. 

( Know more about- What is Depression? )

What are the causes of Anxiety?

The different causes of anxiety are:

  • Traumatic events
  • Inherited condition
  • Heart diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders ( Know more about- What are Thyroid Disorders? )
  • Respiratory disorders, like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a group of lung diseases)
  • Misuse of drugs
  • Drug withdrawal
  • Withdrawal from alcohol
  • Withdrawal from anti-anxiety medicines or other medicines
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (an intestinal disorder causing stomach pain and discomfort)
  • Rare tumors
  • Side effect of certain medications

( Know more about- What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? )

What are the risk factors for Anxiety?

Certain factors increase the risk of developing anxiety and may include:

  • Trauma
  • Stress 
  • Stress due to a medical condition
  • Family history of anxiety disorders
  • Mental health disorders, like depression
  • People with specific types of personality
  • Drug abuse or drug withdrawal
  • Alcohol abuse or alcohol withdrawal

( Know more about- What is Depression in Pregnancy? )

What are the symptoms of Anxiety?

The different symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling tensed
  • A sense of impending danger
  • Panic
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Trembling
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Trouble in concentration about things other than the cause of present worry
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Urge to avoid things that could trigger anxiety
  • Constant worry about something

( Know more about- What is Stomach Cancer Treatment? )

How to diagnose Anxiety?

  • Physical examination: The doctor will examine the patient physically and check for any underlying medical conditions that could be causing anxiety.
  • Psychological evaluation: A psychiatrist may help in evaluating your mental health status and identifying the cause of your anxiety and providing counseling.

What is the treatment for Anxiety?

There are two main types of treatments for anxiety disorders, namely psychotherapy and medications. Sometimes, a combination of both these treatments is used.


  • Psychotherapy, also called psychological counseling or talk therapy, involves working with a psychotherapist to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective type of psychotherapy used for anxiety disorders.
  • CBT focuses on teaching specific skills for improving the anxiety symptoms and slowly returning to activities that have earlier been avoided due to anxiety.
  • CBT includes exposure therapy, in which a person will gradually encounter situations or objects that trigger anxiety so that the individual can gradually build confidence to manage the situation and symptoms of anxiety.

( Know more about- What is Psychotherapy? )


Depending on the type of anxiety disorder you have, and your overall health status, you may be given several types of medications to treat your anxiety.

Some of the medications that could be given to treat anxiety include:

  • Certain types of antidepressants can be used for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
  • Benzodiazepines like diazepam or valium can be used in certain cases. However, these medications are highly addictive.
  • Tricyclics are beneficial for most types of anxiety disorders, except obsessive-compulsive disorder. They may lead to side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, weight gain, and dry mouth.
  • Other medications like beta-blockers, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and buspirone may also be used to treat anxiety.
  • Talk to your doctor about the type of medication being given to you, its possible risks, and side effects.

( Know more about- What are Anti-anxiety Drugs? )

What are the complications of Anxiety?

The complications of anxiety include:

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Digestive problems
  • Bowel problems
  • Insomnia or trouble in sleeping
  • Headache
  • Chronic pain
  • Poor quality of life
  • Suicide
  • Social isolation
  • Problems in working efficiently 

( Know more about- What are the Digestive Disorders? )

How to prevent Anxiety?

Anxiety can be prevented by the following means:

  • Quit alcohol consumption
  • Avoid drug abuse
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce the intake of caffeinated drinks
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Maintain a regular sleep pattern
  • Manage stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get help from people around you as early as possible

( Know more about- What is a Diet plan for immunity? )

We hope that we could answer all your questions regarding anxiety through this article.

If you need more information about anxiety, you can contact a Psychiatrist.

We only aim to provide you with information through this article. We do not recommend any medication or treatment to anyone. Only a qualified doctor can give you the best advice and correct treatment plan. 

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