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Everyone feels anxious and under stress from time to time. Anxiety can be a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with tense situations, like job interviews, exam taking, and public speaking. However, anxiety becomes a problem when it reaches the point that it is interfering with how you live your life. Anxiety can be scary and paralyze you, and it can come on without any apparent reason. Stress and anxiety can overwhelm you, leading to depression, irritability, or anger problems. For more information on depression, please see the depression description.
An anxiety or panic attack is an episode of intense, severe, and temporarily debilitating fear or psychological distress, typically with an abrupt onset. When a panic attack occurs, the body reacts with an evolutionary bodily response often known as the fight-or-flight response, which triggers a release of a large amount of adrenaline into the bloodstream.
Common anxiety symptoms may include:
• physical symptoms: breathlessness, hyperventilation, racing heart,
nausea, a nervous feeling stomach
• trouble thinking or concentrating
• feelings of fear or panic
• intense self-consciousness in social setting.
For more information on anxiety and phobias visit:
The National Institute of Mental Health:
En Espanol: http://medlineplus.gov/spanish
Anxiety Disorders Association of America: www.adaa.org
National Anxiety Foundation: http://lexington-on-line.com/naf.html
American Psychological Association: www.apa.org/topics .