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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Overview of anxiety

Tirohanga whānui ki āwangawanga

The phone numbers mentioned at the end of this video only work in Australia. See Self-care for anxiety for phone numbers you can call for support in New Zealand.

Anxiety includes feeling worried and panicky. It can happen when you're facing a new situation, during a stressful event or if something is going wrong in your life.

It's normal to feel anxious at times. But if you're feeling anxious or worried so often it interferes with your day-to-day life, you may need help for an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is a symptom of various anxiety disorders including:

Anxiety is also common in other psychiatric disorders like depression and psychosis.

There is a self-test that may help you decide if anxiety is affecting your life.

Symptoms of anxiety

People with anxiety can have distressing physical symptoms including:

  • racing heart or thumping (palpitations)
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • shortness of breath or breathing quickly
  • shaking
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • chest pain
  • headaches.

Treating Anxiety

There are lots of ways to manage anxiety. Self-care including online courses is one option. Health professionals recommend talking therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy, and medications can be useful for some people.

On the next page: Self-care for anxiety

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2023.


See also:

Getting help for a mental health issue


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