It's funny that the more you tell someone to calm down the more anxious they get. Okay, funny may be an adjective that's so wrong it's toxic. Therefore, to put it in a more accurate light, it's, well, interesting and quite a conundrum. For anxiety is a slippery little fish; mercurial, poisonous and, ultimately traveling in schools of others of its ilk.
With me, a confrontational moment is the worst thing that could possibly occur during times of stress. Words such as: "Why are you so stressed out?" Increase the size of my slippery fish until it's about whale length without the soothing tones. With children, especially my eldest who has an actual anxiety disorder, pointing out his anxious behaviors while he's experiencing them makes him want to rocket launch himself through the roof of our house.
These examples are benign. At its worst, anxiety disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Panic Disorder can make life so complicated and exhausting that certain activities are difficult to even contemplate attempting, let alone enjoy. For a more detailed and comprehensive resource for anxiety disorders, check out the following website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml
and, for information regarding anxiety and the fight or flight response, go here: