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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Do I Have An Anxiety Problem?

04/03/2008

Question:

Lately I have had stress in my personel life. I have started having anxiety attacks, where I picture the worst possible thing that could happen to me, over and over again. I have some control over it. I am able to stop it when I am busy or focused on something else but, when I stop the anxiety comes back. I logically know the anxiety is unrealistic but when it happens I can`t pull out. Do I need professional help or should I just wait to see if it goes away when the stressors go away? Could it be hormonal?

Answer:

It certainly sounds like anxiety could be a problem for you.  A generalized anxiety disorder has been described as "worrying about everything, including worrying about worrying."  Sometimes, when people get stressed, they do get anxious, but as they work through the stressers by talking to friends, exercise, sleeping well and eating right, both the stress and the anxiety diminish.

However, if the anxiety continues beyond a few weeks, and if it is starting to interfere with your ability to do what you want to do, then it is time to seek some professional help.  If you haven't had a general check up by your primary care provider recently, then I would recommend starting there.  It is also likely that you would benefit from talking to a counselor or therapist.  In the meantime, check out some of the web links about anxiety to learn more.

Good luck.

Related Resources:

anxiety disorders of america
NIH NIMH anxiety

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati