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HealthInfo Canterbury

Overview of anxiety

It's normal to feel anxious at times. It can happen when you're facing a new situation, during a stressful event or if something is going wrong in your life. But if you're feeling anxious or worrying so often it interferes with your day–to–day life, you may need help for an anxiety disorder.

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

Anxiety is a symptom of various anxiety disorders including:

Being anxious can make you irritable, restless, impatient and depressed. It can also make you have trouble concentrating.

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. You may also need to get help from a health professional for talking therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy. Medications are useful for some people.

On the next page: Self-care for anxiety

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed April 2020.

See also:

Getting help for a mental health issue

Reading in Mind book scheme


Page reference: 496340

Review key: HIAXA-50595