Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may be unable to face certain daily situations. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness, or a rapid heartbeat.
Everyone feels anxious from time to time. Stressful situations such as meeting tight deadlines or important social obligations often make us nervous or fearful. Experiencing mild anxiety may help a person become more alert and focused on facing challenging or threatening circumstances. But individuals who experience extreme fear and worry that does not subside may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
People with generalized anxiety disorder have recurring fears or worries, about health or finances, and they often have a persistent sense that something bad is just about to happen. Specific phobias may involve things such as encountering certain animals or flying in airplanes, while social phobias involve fear of social settings or public places. There are effective treatments available for anxiety disorders.