What Is Anxiety?

Dr. Cathy Frank answers the question: 'What Is Anxiety?'

— -- Question: What is anxiety?

Answer: Anxiety is a common experience that people may feel in different ways. Some people may feel apprehensive, nervous, or even fearful.

Anxiety is probably a very adaptive, good part of our ability to cope with the world. For example if we have a test coming up and we feel anxious, or a big project at work, that anxiety may spur us to study harder or to prepare more for our test.

Just as if we're walking down a dark street and we hear footsteps, our anxiety feeling may help us get ready to flee or fight if need be.

But at times anxiety can become an illness, and that's when those feelings of anxiety are unreasonable, excessive, or interfere with our daily life.

Next: How Is 'Normal' Anxiety Different From An 'Anxiety Disorder'?

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