Normal anxiety tends to be limited in time and connected with some stressful situation or event, such as a job interview, moving to a new house or a college final. Anxiety can be associated with positive experiences as well, such as starting a new job. By contrast, the type of anxiety experienced by people with an anxiety condition is more frequent or persistent, and not always connected to an obvious challenge. The anxiety will impact on an individual’s quality of life and day-to-day functioning.

While each anxiety condition has its own unique features, there are some common symptoms including:

• Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flashes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, feeling tense, wound up and edgy, burning skin, numbness and tingling, dizziness, headaches, nervous stomach, pulsing in the ears, nausea, weakness in legs, difficulty in sleeping

• Psychological: excessive fear, worry, feelings of impending doom, obsessive thinking, feeling like you are going crazy

• Behavioral: compulsive behaviors or avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on learning, employment or social life