Solent NHS TrustHigh quality community and mental health services

Recognising the signs

What are the signs of anxiety and how do you spot them?

Life is full of potentially stressful events and it is normal to feel anxious about everyday things.

At any time, 1 in 10 people will be experiencing high levels of anxiety, which can affect their mood and thinking.

Most people experience anxiety at some level within their everyday lives, such as before an examination or a job interview. Such anxiety would be considered normal and may be beneficial for increasing alertness. However, when levels of anxiety remain at an excessive level over a long period of time, this may result in a reduction of one's ability to cope effectively on a daily basis.

There are eight major types of anxiety disorders, each with their own distinct symptom profile: generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, health anxiety, panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia) and social anxiety disorder.

Anxiety has a strong effect on us because it is one of our natural survival responses. It causes our minds and bodies to speed up to prepare us to respond to an emergency.

These are some of the physical things that might happen:
Anxiety also has a psychological impact, which can include: