Stress, Anxiety, & Phobias

Anxiety is often not just a matter of being too anxious. Anxiety is typically experienced as a sudden spell of feeling frightened, anxious, or terrified in a situation where most people would not feel afraid. Anxiety symptoms often mimic the signs of medical illness. When a situation is identified as a threat, an automatic bodily response follows. Some people feel as if they are going to have a heart attack, collapse, faint, go crazy, or perhaps die. These physical feelings reinforce the anxiety. The person then focuses on the feelings and not the issue that caused the feelings. It is the fear of the panic or anxiety itself, regardless of where they occur, that is the primary problem. Time is then spent fearfully anticipating the next attack or avoiding life situations. When many situations begin to pose a serious threat, and panic becomes frequent and distressing to the point of interfering with day-to-day functioning, seeking help is important.

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