DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Anxiety happens as a normal part of life. It can even be useful when it alerts you to danger. But for some people, anxiety persistently interferes with daily activities such as work, school or sleep. This type of anxiety can disrupt relationships and enjoyment of life, and over time it can lead to health concerns and other problems.
In some cases, anxiety is a mental health condition that requires treatment. Generalized anxiety disorder, for example, is characterized by persistent worry about major or minor concerns. Other anxiety disorders — such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — have more-specific triggers and symptoms. Sometimes, anxiety results from a medical condition that needs treatment.
Whatever form of anxiety you have, lifestyle changes, counseling or medications — or a combination of these approaches — can help.
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