Specialty Behavioral Health

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is an emotional state that involves fear accompanied by somatic reactions. Experiencing anxiety in the face of stressful situations is a normal human response and adaptive in many cases. For example, anxiety about a presentation at work can motivate a person to prepare more and result in a better performance. However, anxiety that is too intense or that occurs during inappropriate times can be debilitating and lead to an anxiety disorder.

People with anxiety disorders endure high levels of discomfort, but often do not seek treatment due to feelings of embarrassment or helplessness. There is a wide range of types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, specific phobias (such as test-anxiety), post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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