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What is anxiety?



What is anxiety?

Everyone feels anxious now and then. But if anxiety doesn’t go
away and is affecting your everyday life, then you might have
an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are very common and they
can be treated.

Anxiety is an important feeling for everyone. It helps us get
around safely in the world and avoid danger.

But for some people, anxious feelings don’t go away. They can
see situations as much worse than they really are, and their
anxiety affects their ability to concentrate, sleep and carry
out ordinary tasks. These feelings can be caused by anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common group of mental health
conditions in Australia and affects 1 in 4 Australians at some
stage in their life. However, anxiety disorders can be treated.
Learning about them is an important first step.

Women are more likely to develop anxiety than men, but it is
not clear why. There are many forms of anxiety disorder but the
one thing they have in common is their impact on day-to-day

Anxiety can affect your ability to concentrate, sleep and carry
out ordinary tasks at work, home or school. People with anxiety
disorders often feel they have to avoid stressful situations
and in extreme cases avoid going out altogether. Physical
symptoms are common and include shortness of breath, a pounding
heart and trembling hands.

Anxiety disorders can be caused by many things. These include
genetic factors, ongoing stress, family
background, physical health issues or a traumatic event.

Talking to your doctor about your anxiety symptoms will help them make a
diagnosis and decide how to
best treat or manage your

At any time, if you feel that you may harm yourself or
have thoughts of suicide, talk to family or friends and inform
your doctor straight away. You can ring a phone service such as
Lifeline 13 11 14, available 24 hours a day. If you are the
loved one or carer, dial triple zero (000).

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