Everybody experiences the symptoms of anxiety at some point in life. These symptoms include feelings of worry, nervousness, uneasiness, feeling faint, sweating, having jelly legs and feeling your hear racing. Sometimes a person may experience a panic attack which can be extremely frightening. However, panic attacks are not harmful and can be successfully treated. Anxiety can affect both your physical health and your mental health (your behaviour, feelings and emotions).

For some people, anxiety is a passing emotion attached to life circumstances, or a situation e.g. an exam. For others, dealing with anxiety is something they experience on an ongoing basis that interferes with their everyday life. It is helpful to talk to your doctor or a counsellor about ways to reduce anxiety.

Anxiety is when a person is worried about everyday life events for no obvious reason. The person expects disaster to happen, but can’t stop worrying about it. To an extent, it interferes with life as the person may not be able to enjoy the things they normally do.

Phobia is when anxiety symptoms are brought on by certain objects or situations. The person is afraid, even though the object or situation poses little or no actual danger. Often the person will avoid the object or situation entirely to avoid feeling these symptoms.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a form of anxiety where the person has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviours that they feel the urge to repeat, over and over again, because the person believes something bad will happen if they don’t carry out the behaviour e.g. hand washing.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information in this section is not intended as a substitute for clinical diagnosis or to replace the advice of a medical professional. If concerned, please contact your family doctor or phone the Samaritans on 116 123, or visit

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