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Anxiety Disorders
Basic Information

What is Anxiety?

What is anxiety? Ask anyone to define anxiety and you will quickly realize there is no shortage of examples that people can provide. However, you may be surprised to learn that although anxiety is a very common human experience, the descriptions that people provide are quite varied, and unique to each person. Anxiety is a human emotion that everyone experiences, but as we will soon see, this emotion is not experienced by everyone in the same way. The following case examples illustrate these various experiences of anxiety:

Sally is a 24-year-old sales assistant in a highly prestigious pharmaceutical firm. She constantly works under a great deal of pressure which she describes as "no big deal," and she even believes she thrives off this stress. However, recently she has become more and more distressed over the fact that every time she walks into her local grocery store she immediately begins to sweat, her heart begins to race, and she starts to think she is "losing control." Subsequently, she began to consider ordering her groceries on-line to specifically avoid this experience.

Bill is a 47-year-old hardware store owner. Bill is constantly "worrying" about (what seems to him) just about everything. Whether he is concerned about his business not doing well…or, what if that mole on his back is not just a beauty mark?...or, how on earth is he ever going to drive to Michigan all by himself to see his son (even w...

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