Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, worry, or unease that is a normal human experience. It is also present in a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including generalized disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.
Normal anxiety has its root in fear and serves an important survival function. When someone is faced with a dangerous situation, they triggers the fight-or-flight response. With this response, a variety of physical changes, such as increased blood flow to the heart and muscles, provide the body with the necessary energy and strength to deal with life-threatening situations, such as running from an aggressive animal or fighting off an attacker.
The mental distress that occurs immediately or shortly after experiencing or witnessing an overwhelming traumatic event is no longer classified as an anxiety disorder.
This disorders can be so distressing and interfere so much with a person’s life that they can lead to depression. People may develop a substance use disorder.