Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses related to some way to anxiety: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, separation anxiety disorder, and selective mutism. Anxiety is a normal and healthy response to problems or difficult situations—everyone feels anxious at times. Anxiety can be a problem when it comes up often, seems to come up for no reason, or becomes difficult to control. This can make it hard for people to go about their lives.
Anxiety disorders describe a group of related mental illnesses. A very common myth is that anxiety disorders are the same thing as problems with stress. Anxiety and stress problems can have a lot in common. The difference is that in an anxiety disorder, the symptoms are extreme and don’t go away once the stress is over.
Worry is a normal reaction to a stressful or troubling event, and it usually goes away on its own. But what happens when the worry doesn’t go away? Some people worry all the time—even when everything is okay. They might feel like their worry is out of control or feel like they just can't stop their worried thoughts.
Your heart starts racing. You start to feel dizzy, nauseous and sweaty. After a minute, it feels so bad that you get the overwhelming feeling you're going to die. It’s hard to breathe and your hands and feet start to tingle. You are absolutely terrified. Within a few minutes, the terror slowly starts to subside. Your heart rate and breathing start to return to normal. This is what a panic attack feels like.