Everyone feels anxious at some point in their lives. However, a true anxiety disorder may be involved when the feeling is overwhelming and affects a person's daily life.
At this point, scientists aren't quite sure why some people get anxiety disorders. Different people exposed to the same situation can react in very different ways. This difference may be due to the genes a person has inherited, a person's environment, or a combination of both.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, and agoraphobia are just some of the many types of anxiety disorders. Depending on the kind of anxiety, a person can experience several possible symptoms, including:
- Feeling shaky, jittery, or nervous
- Feeling tense, fearful, or apprehensive
- Avoiding certain places or activities because of fear.
Because extreme symptoms can be caused by other conditions, it's a good idea to see your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment if you believe you may have an anxiety disorder.
(For more in-depth information, click Anxiety. Topics discussed in this article include who is most likely to develop an anxiety disorder, how many Americans have one, and how these mental illnesses are treated.)