What is anxiety disorder?

An anxiety disorder is when your anxiety gets out of control and starts to affect your life.Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in Australia and New Zealand. Around 1 in 3 of us will have an anxiety disorder at some point in our lives.Having an anxiety disorder can be distressing and make it difficult for you to live your life the way you want. However, there are effective treatments available and effective ways to prevent anxiety.

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About anxiety

It's normal and healthy to feel anxious sometimes. Anxiety actually helps us. It makes us alert and helps us do things well.For example, if we are a bit anxious before playing sport or doing an exam, it can make us perform better.If we are in danger, feeling anxious can help us escape from the situation.However, if we become too anxious, it can stop us thinking clearly.When anxiety becomes so overwhelming that it affects your day-to-day life, it becomes a disorder.

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Symptoms of anxiety disorder

People with an anxiety disorder have very strong feelings of worry, unease or fear. They are more anxious than most people would be in the same situation.They may go out of their way to avoid things, people, events or places that make them anxious.They can also:

  • feel panicked
  • have trouble breathing
  • have a racing heart or chest pain
  • feel dizzy, shaky or sick
  • blush or sweat
  • find it difficult to think clearly and concentrate.

People with anxiety often also have symptoms of depression. If you notice some of these symptoms, and you're concerned you might have an anxiety disorder, you should seek help.

Source: RANZCP website

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