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Mental health services: Anxiety

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Anxiety detection and symptoms

Anxiety inventory

Do I need to seek help for my anxiety? This anonymous inventory can help you find out.

Detecting anxiety

Anxiety is a strong feeling of fear or dread. People who are anxious often feel they have no control over what is happening to them.

Some anxiety is normal. Everyone feels anxious sometimes. But when anxiety keeps you from feeling healthy and affects your work, home or social life, you need to get help. Your health care provider can help you gain control of your anxiety and teach you skills to manage your anxiety.

Symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety has many symptoms. You may have a few or many. The most common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • changing appetite or weight
  • changing sleeping patterns
  • constant fatigue
  • increasing restlessness or irritability
  • trouble concentrating
  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • feeling nauseous
  • feeling short of breath
  • having shaking (tremors) in your hands
  • increasing use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Anxiety attacks

Anxiety attack symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath or fast heartbeat
  • shaking, trembling
  • nausea, abdominal pain
  • sweating, weakness and/or dizziness
  • a feeling like you are "going crazy."

You may live in fear of another attack and avoid places where you have had an anxiety or panic attack.

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Anxiety attacks

An anxiety attack is a short period of strong fear that happens for no apparent reason. An anxiety attack is also known as a panic attack. An anxiety attack can be a one-time event or can become an ongoing problem.

Learn more about anxiety attacks in our health library.

Source: Allina Patient Education, How to Manage Your Anxiety, mh-ahc-14314 (3/03); Allina Health Patient Education, Anxiety Disorders, mh-ahc-12507 (11/12)
Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education
First Published: 03/01/2003
Last Reviewed: 11/15/2012