At a glance

Anxiety is a natural reaction to a stressful situation. When someone feels threatened, this can trigger a defence response by the body, causing the heart to race and muscles to tense.

Different people experience anxiety in different ways and a person who is anxious may sweat, tremble, feel nauseous or have a panic attack. People may feel apprehensive, worried, nervous or stressed.

Anxiety performs an important role in telling us when we need to concentrate, be careful or look out for our safety. A person may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when anxiety is not helpful, affects the person’s quality of life and prevents them from doing things that they want to do. This kind of anxiety is not like other stress. It can be difficult to control and does not just go away with time without treatment.

Anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and various phobias.​​​​​​

The problem with anxiety is not the source of the fear, it is that the fear is interfering with the person’s ability to live the way that they want to live.

- A person with lived experience of a mental health condition


Beyond Blue
This website provides information and support for anxiety, to help people “achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live”.

Beyond Blue: Anxiety – the facts
This web page explains what anxiety is, different types, management strategies and provides stories from people who have experienced anxiety.
Type: Web page / Video
Estimated reading/viewing time: 10 minutes

What is an anxiety disorder? (Translated Fact Sheets)
This fact sheet explains “What is an anxiety disorder”, with translations in a range of languages.
Type: Fact sheet
Length: 6 pages
Produced by: Mental Health in Multicultural Australia
Translations: Yes

Beyond Blue: Get to know anxiety personal stories: racing heart
This video shows a personal story about experiencing a racing heart which can be a symptom of anxiety.
Type: Video
Viewing time: 1.47 minutes
Closed captions: Yes

Beyond Blue: Get to know anxiety personal stories: snowballing worries
This video shows a personal story providing a glimpse into the feeling of snowballing worries, a symptom of anxiety. “One in four Australians experience anxiety, yet most don’t recognise it…”
Type: Video
Viewing time: 1.39 minutes
Closed captions: Yes

Current as at: Monday 20 January 2020
Contact page owner: Mental Health