In Australia anxiety effects one in every six people. 

We know that anxiety has an important role to play in helping us get around safely in the world and can be a beneficial ‘early warning system’ in a range of experiences. But for millions of Australians suffering from anxiety disorders, worries become a constant feature of everyday life.

People with anxiety disorders may be unable to stop worrying about seemingly unimportant things, and they can perceive situations as much worse then they actually are. It interferes with the enjoyment of life and disrupts work, relationships and self-perceptions. Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions, and learning about them is an important first step.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders, affecting 17% of Australians. Women are more likely to develop anxiety than men, but it is not clear why. There are many forms of anxiety disorders but the one thing they have in common is their impact on day-to-day activities.

Anxiety can affect your ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary tasks at work, home or school. People with anxiety disorders often feel compelled to avoid stressful situations and in extreme cases avoid going out altogether. Physical symptoms are common, such as shortness of breath, a pounding heart and shaking hands.

Some common symptoms identified by BeyondBlue include:

  • hot and cold flushes
  • racing heart
  • tightening of the chest
  • snowballing worries
  • obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviour.


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