Anxiety is a feeling we have all experienced many times in our lives. Call it anxiety, nervousness, or just being on edge, it's all anxiety. It's part of our body's survival system to warn us of potential danger or threat to our well-being. We are anxious about many things such as starting a new job, taking an exam, being pulled over by police. That's normal. So what makes anxiety a clinical issue?

The short answer to that question is when the level of anxiety affects your ability to function normally. For example, someone may be ready to run errands but first needs to make sure the stove is turned off before she goes. Normal. Having checked that the stove is indeed off, she proceeds to her car. As she starts to climb in her car, she gets anxious and feels she needs to check the stove again. Her anxiety grows until she once again checks the stove. This may happen several times before she actually gets on her way. Not normal.

There are many kinds of anxiety with many different levels of severity. Some can be simply resolved with changes in thinking while others may require medication. While each type has a common thread, they may be quite different in presentation and level of dysfunction. Here are just a few of the many types of anxiety:

No matter what flavor of anxiety you have, there's effective treatment available. Sometimes, just a simple change in how you view things can make all the difference.

Anxiety Handouts

  1. Understanding Your Anxiety Symptoms (Part 1)
  2. Understanding Your Anxiety Symptoms (Part 2)
  3. Anxiety Overview
  4. Anxiety Monitoring Form
  5. Questioning Anxious Thinking
  6. Unhelpful Thinking Styles
  7. Checklist of Cognitive Distortions
  8. The Problem of Worry
  9. Panic Attacks
  10. Challenge Upsetting Thinking
  11. Diaphragmatic Breathing
  12. Relaxed Breathing
  13. Social Anxiety
  14. Test Anxiety Booklet
  15. Understanding Test Anxiety
  16. Managing Test Anxiety

Additional Resources

  1. NIMH - Anxiety Disorders
  2. NIMH - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  3. VA - Anxiety in Veterans
  4. HelpGuide - Anxiety Articles