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There are different types of anxiety – including panic attacks, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder

It’s natural to be anxious but the feelings might not go away. They might get worse or have no particular cause and can become a problem, especially if you don’t know why it is happening. It might make you feel worried, fearful or nervous. Everyone’s experience of anxiety is different and not everyone who has anxiety will experience the same symptoms.

There are different types of anxiety – including panic attacks, social anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and more.

Some of the common symptoms might be:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of dread
  • Irritability
  • Sleep and appetite problems
  • Fast breathing and heartbeat
  • Hot flushes or blushing
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking
  • Extremely tiredness or lack of energy
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Hair loss
  • Stomach aches and sickness

Exercise can be a great way to improve your mental wellbeing and manage anxiety symptoms. It doesn’t have to be difficult physical activity, it could simply be taking your dogs out for a walk, cycling or exploring your local area to take your mind off things. Hobbies are a great way to distract yourself from racing thoughts and can provide you with some concentration on another task.

Different types of anxiety

Generalised anxiety disorder
the most common type of anxiety and might include excessive worrying about different activities and events. You might feel on the edge and hyper-alert to your surroundings, affecting your day-to-day life and several areas of your life – including working, travelling or sleeping. Other types of physical symptoms include muscle tension and sweating. It is common to have other conditions such as depression and other types of anxiety.

Panic disorder
you might have regular panic attacks with no particular trigger that can happen suddenly and feel very intense and frightening. It’s possible that you might dissociate during panic attacks and feel detached from your body, which present a fear about having more in the future. You might have an overwhelming sense of dread or fear, chest pain, swearing and hot flushes, a churning stomach and more of the common symptoms that are associated with anxiety.

Social anxiety disorder
you might worry about social or performance situations, which can include speaking in public, meeting new people or dating. You might have physical signs of your anxiety, such as sweating, racing heartbeat or a shaky voice.

Health anxiety
you might have a constant worry that you are ill or going to get ill, which means you constantly check your body for signs of illness, seek assurance from others that you’re not ill, obsessively consume health related information, or avoid health related content through different mediums.

you might have an overwhelming fear of something, such as environmental, situational, sexual, or even animals. You also might be in fear of being in situations where escape can be difficult, such as being in public space, using public transport, or other crowded spaces that affect your daily routine where you routinely and actively avoid pursuing them.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
an obsession is a repeated unwelcome thought or image which can be difficult to ignore and can become disturbing. You might think about or do something repeatedly to relieve anxiety, such as repeated checking that a door is locked, and you might believe something bad will happen if you don’t check these things which could be a compulsion. Types of OCD include intrusive thoughts, hoarding, and impulse to clean or wash because you perceive something as contaminated.
Read more on Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Impulsive control disorder
you might skin pick or hair pull or bite your nails and find it difficult to stop yourself doing it. It can cause damage to your skin, hair and body and might lead to picking, pulling and biting other areas of your body. You might experience a build-up of tension if you don’t do these things and feel relief when you decide to do it. It can be difficult to stop these habits and you might not be aware that you’re doing it. It can lead to further damage, such as hair loss and distress.


Our Advice and Support Service is open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, where advisers can signpost you to local support that most fits your needs, including our Change Mental Health services. We offer initial advice on money worries and help to deal with emergencies.

Contact 0808 8010 515, email us at or fill out the enquiry form on the Advice and Support Service page.


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