Conditions Information

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Typically, everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. However anxiety can become problematic when it interferes with everyday activities. Anxiety can become severe enough to cause you to avoid places, activities, or people that can trigger anxiety. Anxiety may also interfere with your sleep, causing insomnia or restless nights. While some anxiety is healthy, it might be a problem if it can prevent you from doing what you want to be doing.

Anxiety is a general term for many related anxiety conditions, including, though not limited to: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Panic Attack Specifier, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Selective Mutism, Specific Phobia (e.g., Agoraphobia), Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia), Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder, Unspecified Anxiety Disorder. 


This page will focus primarily on Generalized Anxiety, as many of the traits are present in other anxiety conditions.

  • Excessive worry, being unable to control worrying
  • Trouble concentrating on another other than the present worry
  • Nervousness, tension, restlessness, or irritability, especially in excess
  • A sense of impending doom or danger
  • Gastrointestinal/stomach pain or problems
  • Chest pain, increased heart rate, sweating, shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping, including insomnia, restless sleep or oversleeping
  • Tiredness, being easily fatigued

The above is an incomplete list of the traits of anxiety. It is not inclusive of all traits found in anxiety.

Causes & Origins

Anxiety can arise for a number of known and unknown reasons. Genetic predisposition, experienced trauma, conditioning, and many other factors can play a role in how and when we experience anxiety, and when it becomes a medical concern. Anxiety may also co-occur with many other conditions or be considered a trait or side effect of other conditions, illnesses, or medications. Anxiety stemming from medication or illness might be resolved by addressing the co-occuring conditions or changing medications.


Anxiety can be diagnosed by most medical professionals. Typically, someone seeking a diagnosis will meet with their General Practitioner to receive an initial assessment, and if necessary, further referral to a specialist. 

Support & Treatment

  • Roots in illness: If the anxiety has roots in a physical illness, treating the illness may help to resolve some of the anxiety symptoms
  • Side effect of medication: If the anxiety is a side effect of another medication, talking to a doctor about other medication options may help resolve the anxiety
  • Therapy: Multiple types of psychotherapy have been shown helpful in managing or reducing anxiety
    • Talk-therapy
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Hypnotherapy
    • Occupational therapy

At best, therapy can be very helpful, but unfortunately, poor therapy experiences do happen. You might need to spend some extra effort to ensure that your therapist has experience in your condition, any co-occurring conditions, and with minority identities you may hold for the most wholistic approach.

  • Medication: Some medications can help manage and reduce anxiety
    • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
    • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs) 
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Some antihistamines
    • Some antidepressant medications
    • Some antipsychotic drugs

Be sure to check with your medical professional about your medication options

  • Lifestyle: Other coping mechanisms include:
    • Mindfulness
    • Meditation
    • Diet adjustments (e.g., removing food intolerances or increasing amino acid intake)
    • Anxiety coaching
    • Exercise
    • Limiting drug intake, including alcohol, caffeine, and other recreational drug use.

Further Resources

Planet Neurodivergent Resources
Other Resources & References

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