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All About Anxiety

If you’re in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You’re restless and unable to sleep. You’ve been shaky and sweaty for a week just thinking about your first day back at school. You feel paralyzed when you think about going outside.

Each of these is an example of anxiety.

Anxiety is a term that describes intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. It is a common, frequently treatable condition that may result in increased heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and feeling tired. This overview can help you determine if you’re experiencing anxiety and provide a path to some relief.

The most common mental health condition

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults every year. It’s the most common mental health issue in the country, yet, only 36.9% of those with anxiety get treatment.

Occasional anxiety or anxiety disorder?

If you get nervous on the first day of school or before a performance review, that’s normal. Most of us feel anxious from time to time. Anxiety disorders are different. The uneasy feelings may not go away for months and may also get worse as time goes by.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobia-related disorders all fall under the umbrella of anxiety.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) causes anxiety or worry that lasts for at least six months. The anxiety can be about almost anything, including work, your health, or personal relationships.

    Symptoms include:
    • Worrying constantly about things you can’t control
    • Having difficulty concentrating
    • Focusing on the worst-case scenarios and overpreparing or overthinking plans and solutions
    • Imagining threats that aren’t there
    • Feeling unable to make decisions
    • Being restless or on edge
    GAD patients often have physical symptoms, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, sweating, muscle aches, and stomach issues.
  • Panic Disorder

    A more extreme type of anxiety, panic disorder, is defined by panic attacks that suddenly come on. A known fear may trigger them.

    Symptoms of panic disorder include:
    • Intense periods of fearfulness that happen without warning
    • Feelings of impending doom
    • Physical symptoms including heart palpitations, racing heart, or chest pain; weakness or dizziness; sweating and shaking; and shortness of breath
  • Phobia-Related Disorders
    Phobias are another type of anxiety that includes:
    • Specific phobias like fear of spiders or heights
    • Agoraphobia, a fear of places or situations that often causes people to be afraid of going outside or leaving their home
    • Separation anxiety disorder, a fear of being away from loved ones
    • Social anxiety disorder, which causes extreme self-consciousness and fear of social situations

Getting Help

We understand the difficulty in seeking treatment for a mental health disorder. You may feel that since your condition doesn’t cause you physical pain, you don’t need to seek help. But that isn’t true.

Your mental health matters! Treating your anxiety is just as important as treating a physical health condition.

You can use your TRS-ActiveCare health plan to get help for anxiety.

Your health plan covers your mental health care at the same rate as your medical care. Find an in-network therapist or other mental health provider by calling a Personal Health Guide at 1-866-355-5999, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You may be able to visit your current in-network therapist or psychiatrist online or over the phone. You can also access mental health care through Teladoc®.

The interactive Well onTarget® program has many mental health resources, including tips for finding a provider and videos and articles about anxiety.

If you’re in danger of hurting yourself or someone else, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.