Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults, are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the United States. Anxiety is a constant “loop” of negative thoughts that circulate in your mind. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school, work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Signs & Symptoms

People with an anxiety disorder may feel:

  • Difficulty with controlling the worry
  • Fearfulness or panic
  • Compulsion or obsession
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches, lightheadedness or dizziness
  • A tendency to be overly cautious

Tips & Recommendations

Here are some strategies you can take to help manage your anxiety:

  • List and evaluate your fears – This will allow you to think about them and determine if there is anything constructive that you can do about your fears. Brainstorm on ideas for how you could make things better.
  • Review and decide - Once you've faced your fears and brainstormed ideas, you will feel much more in charge of yourself and your situation. Review what you've discovered and make some decisions.
  • Engage in physical activity - Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. There is also evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people.

If you find your anxiety is still disrupting your life, there are treatments than can help. Anxiety disorders are generally treated with talk therapy, medication or both. Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTS) can help you manage your feelings and learn techniques to help you live a more satisfying and productive life.

Additional Resources

NIMH: Anxiety Statistics





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Featured Therapist 

Karen L. Kleckner, MA
Karen L Kleckner, M.A..

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Walnut Creek, CA

At the core of many personal issues lie old messages of your sense of worth. Those messages conveyed to you while growing-up that minimized your self-esteem. The journey inward toward your past can often be frightening and disheartening. By slowly revisiting the wounded part of yourself, old repetitive behaviors can cease to exist. A new sense of kindness toward yourself will begin to emerge. Allow me to travel with you to discover what is buried deep inside of your soul, exploring what keeps you from becoming all that you want to be.

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