Anxiety is a normal state of dread, tension, and unease. It is considered a normal response to stress or uncertain situations. Prolonged or intense periods of anxiety may suggest an anxiety disorder. A disorder may also be indicated if anxiety:
Occurs without an external threat (“free-floating” anxiety)
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A psychiatric evaluation will be done. Your doctor may also perform a physical exam and diagnostic tests. Usually the results of these tests are normal. You may be referred to a psychotherapist for further evaluation.
Effective treatment usually involves a combination of interventions, including:
This therapy addresses thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that play a role in anxiety. It helps you work through traumas and conflicts.
can help you identify negative thought patterns and behaviors. Over time, you can learn to retrain your thinking. This will help you choose better options in response to stress and anxiety.
For severe anxiety or anxiety disorder, medicines may include:
Generalized anxiety disorder. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at:
. Accessed June 18, 2008.
Nietzel MT, Wakefield JC.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
. 4th ed. Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
Tierney LM, McPhee SJ, Papadakis MA.
Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
. 45th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill;2006.
DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: Javnbakht M, Hejazi Kenari R, Ghasemi M. Effects of yoga on depression and anxiety of women. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009;15(2):102-104.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a