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Anxiety - Spot the signs

What is anxiety

Feeling anxious is a completely normal part of being human - you’ve probably experienced it going for job interviews, before a big family occasion or an important meeting. However, some people can find their everyday lives affected by their anxieties and fears. A constant sense of anxiety can be part of another psychological condition, or be a disorder in itself.

Spot the signs

Everyone feels anxious at times. However, if these feelings start to become overwhelming, it could be a problem that you need to address. Sufferers can feel restless, a sense of dread, constantly "on edge", more irritable than usual and have difficulty concentrating. They can also have physical symptoms including dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth and difficulty falling or staying asleep. If you experience these symptoms frequently, over a long period of time, then you could benefit from getting some medical help.

What to do

Anxiety sufferers can find their condition tough to manage, but often are unwilling to seek professional help. It can be difficult, but a good first step is visiting your GP. They will ask about your worries, fears and feelings, and how long you’ve been having symptoms. They may carry out a physical examination and blood tests as well as asking you to fill in a simple questionnaire. You may find it hard to speak about your life, but it’s important for the doctor to understand how you’re feeling in order to help. It might be useful to keep a diary to spot patterns and identify what triggers your anxiety or makes it worse.

Your GP will be able to suggest some coping techniques, prescribe counselling, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or medication. How you are treated will depend on your circumstances and what works best for you. Exercise and a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and using relaxation techniques like meditation can all help.

If you are a Benenden member and are worried about anxiety, then call one of our helplines for advice.


This article has been brought to you using public health information freely available online (click on links in the article for more information). Benenden has not provided any direct medical advice within this article. Please consult the sources provided if you would like further information or support.