This handout was written to help you learn about anxiety and how this can be treated. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to call the number listed at the end.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a state of mental tension that can have many symptoms. Below are ways in which an anxious person may look or feel.
Worrying all the time
Tired or fatigued
Have trouble concentrating and sleeping
Impatient or irritable
Muscle aches and tension
On guard or on edge
Shaky, jumpy, jittery, or trembling
Loss of hunger
Your body may have some or all of these symptoms.
Hot or cold spells
Frequent need to urinate
Vague feeling in the pit of the stomach
Cold, clammy hands
Racing or pounding heart
Flushing or paleness
A lump in the throat
Rapid breathing and heart rate, even while resting
What Is an Anxiety Disorder?
There are many types of anxiety disorders. These can affect daily living and may cause us to avoid things in life.
Panic Disorder: sudden onset of intense panic (panic attacks).
Generalized Anxiety: unreal fears about two or more life events.
Agoraphobia: fear of being in places where escape might be hard or embarrassing.
Social Phobia: an unreal fear of embarrassing oneself in a social setting.
Simple Phobia: an unreal fear of a certain object, event or place.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: thoughts that will not go away and/or actions that are done over and over again.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: anxiety that comes after having a severe physical or psychological trauma.
How Are These Treated?
Medicines and/or therapy are the most common treatments. In therapy, you can receive help to face the things you fear. Your anxious feelings will go away when you can handle your symptoms without trying to escape the situation. Antidepressants and antianxiety drugs may be useful alone or with therapy.
Prompt treatment is important. It is often delayed because people may not think these symptoms are an illness.
Anxiety Disorders Center at the UW Hospital and Clinics: (608) 263-6100
National Suicide Prevention line
Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Dane Co.
NAMI Dane County
2059 Atwood Avenue
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/28/2013
Copyright © 08/01/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4526
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