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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

988  or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Textline text

'START' 741-741

anxiety disorders

If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide, call or text one of the hotlines below. 

What is it?

What Causes it?

Signs / Symptoms

Treatment / Therapies

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. It can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives. Anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective treatments are available. Treatment helps most people lead normal, productive lives. Anxiety refers to anticipation of a future concern and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior.


(GAD): Generalized Anxiety Disorder involves persistent and excessive worry that interferes with daily activities. This ongoing worry and tension may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as restlessness, feeling on edge or easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension or problems sleeping. Often, the worries focus on everyday things such as job responsibilities, family health or minor matters such as chores, car repairs, or appointments.

Source: American Psychiatric Association (APA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

The causes of anxiety disorders are currently unknown but likely involve a combination of factors including genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental. Anxiety disorders can run in families, suggesting that a combination of genes and environmental stresses can produce the disorders.

Source: American Psychiatric Association (APA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on edge

  • Easily fatigued

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Mind going blank

  • Irritability

  • Muscle tension

  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry

  • Sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness or unsatisfying sleep

Source: American Psychiatric Association (APA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)  

Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. There are many ways to treat anxiety and people should work with their doctor to choose the treatment that is best for them. Psychotherapy or “talk therapy” can help people with anxiety disorders. To be effective, psychotherapy must be directed at the person’s specific anxieties and tailored to his or her needs. Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but can help relieve symptoms. Medication for anxiety is prescribed by doctors, such as a psychiatrist or primary care provider. Some states also allow psychologists who have received specialized training to prescribe psychiatric medications. The most common classes of medications used to combat anxiety disorders are anti-anxiety drugs (such as benzodiazepines), antidepressants, and beta-blockers.​

Talk to your doctor or mental health professional to discuss possible options & side effects.

Source: American Psychiatric Association (APA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

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