Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, uneasiness, worry, and even dread. While experiencing anxiety the body is in a heightened state of arousal. While in this heightened state, people often find themselves doing or wanting to do one of three things, fight or flight, freeze.
There are two main types of anxiety.
- Normal or moderate anxiety – This type of anxiety is situational, where the anxiety is proportionate to the danger, and everybody would experience if in the same situation. The person affected is able to identify, manage, and reduce the anxiety. Examples where people typically experience anxiety would be before an exam, public speaking, going out on a date with someone, or starting a new job. The fear underlying the anxiety connected with these situations is realistic, such as preforming badly in the exam. These types of situations provoke anxiety in most people and feelings of anxiety can be helpful in motivating a person to perform.
- Neurotic or intense anxiety – is disproportionate to the danger and can be experienced as intense helplessness or even dread. Unlike moderate anxiety, which can help people to concentrate and preform, intense anxiety is more stressful and people can find it difficult to concentrate, cause forgetfulness, interfere with problem solving, and hinder communication. People commonly experience physical symptoms such as paralysis, rapid heartbeat, or intense headaches.
Panic attacks are a form of anxiety and are experienced as sudden and often unexpected sensation of intense fear. Physical symptoms include, rapid heartbeat, trembling, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pains and feeling like going crazy. Panic attacks are commonly associated with specific places or situations like being in a crowd, feeling trapped in a room, going to the dentist, or driving in a car. However, panic attacks are not isolated to these experiences. Almost any experience can trigger a panic attack. People experiencing panic attacks often had a negative experience in a similar situation that produced a panic attack. Often the person, as a way to manage the anxiety avoids those specific places or situations.