The word "anxiety"

What is Anxiety?

Mar 4, 2021

Anxiety is a mental illness that causes persistent and overwhelming worry in everyday life situations. Anxiety is more than feeling stressed. It’s a disorder that persistently impacts your daily functioning. Anxiety disorders cause feelings that are out of proportion to the actual danger of the situation.

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness. Around 19% of U.S. adults have an anxiety disorder. Many people can and do get better with treatment. Therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes can be effective in treating anxiety disorders.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Here are signs that you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder:

  • Feeling nervous or on edge
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feeling irritable
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Avoiding things that cause you to worry
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Hyperventilating
  • Experiencing panic attacks
  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling nauseous

Symptoms can range from mild to severe. If your symptoms are becoming difficult to manage or impact your daily functioning, it may be time to reach out to your provider and get help.

How is Anxiety Treated?

There are many effective treatments for anxiety disorders. Different types of treatment work better for different people, and it can take time to determine the best kind of treatment for you. Many people benefit from a combination of treatments, such as therapy and medication.

Therapy. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is commonly used to treat anxiety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is shown to be very effective in treating anxiety. CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on evaluating and changing your thought processes so you develop skills to cope with your symptoms.

Medication. Your provider may prescribe medications such as anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and beta-blockers to treat anxiety disorders. Finding the right medication can take time. Your provider will work with you to determine the best medication for you. It’s important not to stop taking medications without the help of your doctor.

Wellness and lifestyle. Making healthy changes to your routines can make a difference. Exercising, getting enough sleep, prioritizing relaxation and rest, and eating well can help you feel better. You can also learn techniques to destress, like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. You can also join a support group.

When to Get Help

If symptoms of an anxiety disorder are significantly impacting your life, reach out to your provider. Working with a doctor or mental health professional can help get you on the track to feeling better. If you’re having a mental health crisis and need help immediately, call 911.

Guild Can Help

At Guild, we know that anxiety can and does get better with treatment. If you are looking for services and resources related to anxiety disorders or experiencing a mental health crisis, Guild can help. Our Community Access team can discuss your situation and determine your eligibility for Guild services or other state resources. Call us at 651-925-8490 to get on the road to recovery today.



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Diagnosis and Treatment, Mayo Clinic.

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What Are Anxiety Disorders?, American Psychiatric Association. 

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder, Mayo Clinic. 

Agoraphobia, Mayo Clinic.

Phobia, Harvard Medical School.