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What Is Anxiety In Psychology

By Mosh
Treat Mental Health
5 min read
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Key Takeaways

At one point or another everyone will feel anxiety or anxious feelings, however, when these feelings of anxiety become severe, crippling, and upsetting, causing disturbances in your day-to-day life it may point to an anxiety disorder. Being aware of the different anxiety disorders and their symptoms can help in understanding what you are experiencing. Seeking help from a professional is the first step in treating anxiety. To address any concerns that you may have, it is advisable to consult with a  mental health professional to receive proper advice and treatment depending on your specific situation.

You may have encountered feelings of anxiety recently, causing you to wonder, ‘What is anxiety in psychology?’ Whether they’re preparing for a big exam, driving through heavy traffic, or waiting for news from their doctor, everyone has experienced anxious feelings at one point or another in their lives. 

It is normal to feel anxious about things we hope will have a positive result. Once the event or situation that causes anxiety has ended, the anxious feelings should usually dissipate, too. However, anxiety disorder is different. 

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What is anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorder is when feelings of anxiety become severe, crippling, and upsetting, causing disturbances in your day-to-day life. 

Three million Australians currently struggle with some type of anxiety disorder, and one in four Australians will experience anxiety at some point in their life.[1] Some common causes of anxiety are genetics, stress, trauma, ongoing health problems, and addiction.[2] However, an anxiety disorder can be caused by a wide variety of factors, and what triggers anxiety in one person may not trigger it in another. 

Since anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health conditions in Australia, it is crucial to understand their different types, their signs and symptoms, and how to relieve anxiety.

What are the different types of anxiety?

After asking, ‘What is anxiety in psychology?’ you may be wondering if anxiety can be categorised. There are several types of anxiety disorders,[3] some of which are listed below:

  • Generalised anxiety disorder occurs when one experiences excessive worry about everyday issues.
  • Social anxiety disorder causes one to avoid social or performance situations to evade embarrassment or rejection.
  • Panic disorder is characterised by regular panic attacks and episodes of crippling fear.
  • Specific phobias are also a type of anxiety. Phobias are irrational fears of specific things or situations. One example is acrophobia, which is the fear of heights.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterised by unwanted thoughts and impulses, which can cause one to engage in repetitive behaviours to self-soothe and relieve anxiety.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is when traumatic life events have passed, but paralysing feelings of fear, upsetting memories, and flashbacks remain due to these events.

These are just some of the types of anxiety that a person can be diagnosed with; however, anxiety is a complex and highly individualised condition. It is best to consult with a doctor if you have questions like, ‘What is anxiety in psychology?’ and ‘What causes stress?’ or concerns like ‘how to stop anxious thoughts’.

How severe are the symptoms of anxiety?

If you have been asking, ‘What is anxiety in psychology?’ then you might also be curious about the symptoms of anxiety and how severe they can get. The severity of symptoms varies per individual and the type of anxiety disorder they are dealing with. 

However, some common symptoms of anxiety are an inability to stop worrying, irritability, shortness of breath, feeling faint or lightheaded, physical reactions such as excessive sweating and muscle tension, inability to sleep enough or on time, and the avoidance of situations that can make one feel anxious.[4]

Some symptoms may be more severe. Individuals struggling with PTSD, for example, may experience thoughts of self-harm or harming others. They may also depend heavily on alcohol, drugs, or gambling to cope with feelings of guilt or shame.[5]

If you are dealing with anxiety that is affecting your daily life, read on to find out what can be done.

What kind of anxiety treatment is available?

If you have been searching up terms like ‘what is anxiety in psychology’, ‘how to get rid of anxiety fast’, and ‘how to deal with anxiety attacks’, know that there are treatment options available to those who need them. 

One type of anxiety treatment is cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), which helps address the thoughts and behaviours that contribute to anxiety. It helps to build the skills needed to recognise an anxiety attack as it comes and manage it effectively.[6] The focus of CBT is on problem-solving rather than problem anticipation.

Exposure therapy is another evidence-based technique to help with anxiety. For example, if you have anxiety around speaking in public, your doctor will prepare you by exposing you to an ‘easier’ version of the situation, increasingly challenging you until you are better able to tackle it.[7]

We at Mosh understand that anxiety can make day-to-day life difficult to navigate, and that often, seeking help can itself be anxiety-inducing. We want to help you get the assistance you need without feeling overwhelmed.

All you have to do is answer our simple online questionnaire, which will help us get to know you and your unique situation better. From there, a Mosh doctor will review the information you submitted and get in touch with you within forty-eight hours.

You can then engage in a free online consultation, where your AHPRA-registered doctor can answer your questions and provide medically-backed advice. You can use this time to bring up any concerns or questions that you may have, such as ‘What is anxiety in psychology?’ ‘What is high functioning anxiety?’ ‘How to cope with stress?’ and more. If your doctor determines that treatment is appropriate for you, they will then explain options that may be suitable for your condition. This may include regular online therapy sessions, prescription medication, or a combination of both. 

Should prescription medication be a part of your treatment plan, these will be delivered discreetly to your door every month. Once your prescription runs out, online script renewal is easy, and you can cancel your subscription anytime without fees.

Our expert doctors at Mosh know how challenging it can be to open up about anxiety. That is why we have made help more accessible for you. Now, you can get to the bottom of questions like ‘What is anxiety in psychology?’ and receive the treatment you need, all in the comfort of your own home.

When you are ready, feel free to contact us and start your journey towards better mental health today.

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