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Anxiety is a normal, human feeling of fear or panic. When we face stressful situations, it can set off our brain’s in-built alarm bell system, which tells us something isn’t right and that we need to deal with it. Our brain wants the difficult situation to go away, so it makes us feel more alert, stops us thinking about other things, and even pumps more blood to our legs to help us run away.

Most of us worry sometimes – about things like friendships or money – and feel anxious when we’re under stress, like at exam time. But afterwards we usually calm down and feel better.

But when you’re not in a stressful situation, and you still feel worried or panicky, that’s when anxiety can become a problem.


Feeling constant anxiety can be a sign that something in your life isn’t right, and you may need some help figuring out what that is.

Talk to your GP
If they think you’re suffering from anxiety, whether mild or severe, they can suggest different types of treatment that might help. They can also offer regular check-ups to see how you’re doing.


You might start out just feeling generally anxious, but if your symptoms get worse or last longer than they should, it could be time to get some support. Symptoms include:

  • feeling nervous, on edge, or panicky all the time

  • feeling overwhelmed or full of dread

  • feeling out of control

  • having trouble sleeping

  • low appetite

  • finding it difficult to concentrate

  • feeling tired and grumpy

  • heart beating really fast or thinking you’re having a heart attack

  • having a dry mouth

  • trembling, or having wobbly legs

  • feeling faint

  • stomach cramps and/or diarrhoea/needing to pee more than usual

  • sweating more than usual

  • getting very hot

If you experience any of these symptoms above, it doesn’t mean you definitely have an anxiety problem. But if any of them are affecting your everyday life, it’s a good idea to tell someone you trust about how you’re feeling.


Visit our 'Get Support' page to find organisations where you can go to support including where to find urgent help.

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