Anxiety is our body's natural response to stress. When we perceive something as a threat, we have both a cognitive and a physical response. Cognitively, we might think to ourselves "oh no, something bad is about to happen." This thought sends a signal to our amygdala that triggers our body's alarm system to kick on. Our body responds by releasing adrenalin, increasing our heart rate, and preparing us to fight, flight, or freeze. This systemic response is evolutionary, and it is made to protect us. If we needed to run from a bear, for example, this kind of response would help us to be faster, and could save our lives. However, sometimes this response can get triggered too often, even when we don't need to flee a life threatening situation. The alarm system can become stuck in the "on" position, when we desperately want and need it to turn off.
People with anxiety disorders have intense worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and terror that reach a peak within minutes. This is called a panic attack. Panic attacks can be debilitating. They can cause people to avoid specific places or even leaving the house all together.
Anxiety can take so many forms, mentally and physically. Examples of anxiety disorders include: generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and separation anxiety disorder. People may experience more than one anxiety disorder or have an anxiety disorder coupled with Depression or a medical condition.
Whatever form of anxiety you have, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help.