A Closer Look at Anxiety and What to Do if You See the Signs

Anxiety is a normal, healthy human reaction when facing dangerous or stressful situations. It's the type of reaction that makes us run away from a dangerous animal or helps us lift something heavy. In those cases, it helps to increase our heart rate, blood flow to muscles, and thinking ability.

However, it can become debilitating for those who experience these symptoms outside of these threatening (or even potentially threatening) situations. Anxiety disorders often prevent people from doing normal tasks or even leaving their homes at times. The symptoms are wide-ranging and can become a serious problem that impairs daily life.

For instance, someone diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder must experience at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Sleep problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension

Anxiety affects nearly one in five people at some point in their lives – so it's a common problem. And there are several different types of anxiety that a person can develop, including:

Panic Disorder -  a prolonged state of severe anxiety and fear characterized by a sudden burst of intense physical symptoms.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder - unwanted thoughts or behaviors that repeatedly make a person want to do something out of anxiety, not from logic.

Social Anxiety Disorder - fear and avoidance of social situations due to fear of being judged by others.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - the anxiety and stress that comes upon recalling or re-experiencing a traumatic event.

Separation Anxiety Disorder - excessive anxiety concerning separation or loss of attachment to home, family, or caregivers.

The first step to overcoming any mental health problem is recognizing that you have one and want help. If your worries or fears impact your life, it's time to take action.

There are various treatments for anxiety, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), antidepressants, and lifestyle changes. The most important thing you can do is talk to someone about it - so don't be afraid to reach out to a therapist who can help you take the next step toward feeling better.

Diane K. Schmidt Counseling Services | 8575 W. 110th Street, Suite 304 Overland Park, KS 66210 | Phone: 913.730.6778 | Email: