It's normal to feel anxious or worried at times. Everyone does. In fact, a moderate amount of anxiety can be good. Anxiety helps you respond appropriately to real danger, and it can help motivate you to excel at work and at home.
But if you often feel very anxious without reason and your worries disrupt your daily life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder cause excessive or unrealistic anxiety and worry — well beyond what's appropriate for a situation.
Living with an anxiety disorder can be difficult, but treatment is available. Medications and psychotherapy can help ease symptoms, and you can learn healthy coping skills to manage an anxiety disorder and take back your life.
Signs and symptoms of a potential anxiety disorder can vary in combination or severity. Anxiety disorder symptoms may include:
- Feeling of being keyed up or on edge
- Feeling a lump in your throat
- Difficulty concentrating
- Being easily distracted
- Muscle tension
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
If you have an anxiety disorder, you may experience times when your worries don't completely consume you, but you still feel rather anxious. You may feel on edge about many or all aspects of your life. For example, you may feel intense worry about your safety or that of your loved ones, or you may have a general sense that something bad is about to happen, even when there's no apparent danger.
Anxiety disorders often begin at an early age, and the signs and symptoms may develop more slowly than in other psychological disorders. Many people with anxiety disorders can't recall when they last felt relaxed or at ease.