Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Resources for Anxiety: Home

This guide provides information and resources on anxiety, including general anxiety, social anxiety, and OCD.

                                                                                                               1,649 Anxiety Banner Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime

The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat.

Anxiety disorders are conditions in which you have anxiety that does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.

People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).

(Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961; NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders; Medline Plus, https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html)

Stress Or Anxiety?

Generally, stress is a response to an external cause, such as a tight deadline at work or having an argument with a friend, and subsides once the situation has been resolved.

Anxiety is a person’s specific reaction to stress; its origin is internal. Anxiety is typically characterized by a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread in situations that are not actually threatening. Unlike stress, anxiety persists even after a concern has passed.

(Stress vs Anxiety, https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2018/06/stress-vs-anxiety/)

Types of Anxiety

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Phobias

(HHS, https://www.hhs.gov/answers/mental-health-and-substance-abuse/what-are-the-five-major-types-of-anxiety-disorders/index.html)

Symptoms of Anxiety

All people are different, so your symptoms may vary, but this is a list of possible symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Being irritable
  • Having muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

Social Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

  • Fear of situations in which you may be judged negatively
  • Worry about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
  • Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
  • Avoidance of doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
  • Avoidance of situations where you might be the center of attention
  • Anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
  • Intense fear or anxiety during social situations

Panic Disorder

  • Panic attacks
  • Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of being out of control

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Fear of contamination or dirt.
  • Doubting and having difficulty tolerating uncertainty.
  • Needing things orderly and symmetrical.
  • Aggressive or horrific thoughts about losing control and harming yourself or others.
  • Unwanted thoughts, including aggression, or sexual or religious subjects.

Phobias

  • May have an irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object or situation
  • Take active steps to avoid the feared object or situation
  • Experience immediate intense anxiety upon encountering the feared object or situation
  • Endure unavoidable objects and situations with intense anxiety

 

(NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders; Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/social-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353561; Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432)

Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT teaches people different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to anxiety-producing and fearful objects and situations.

Behavioral Therapy

This form of therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors. It functions on the idea that all behaviors are learned and that unhealthy behaviors can be changed.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques are practices to help bring about the body’s “relaxation response,” which is characterized by slower breathing, lower blood pressure, and a reduced heart rate.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy focuses on confronting the fears underlying an anxiety disorder to help people engage in activities they have been avoiding.

Medication

Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but can help relieve symptoms. Medication for anxiety is prescribed by doctors, such as a psychiatrist or primary care provider. Medication types include anti-anxiety, antidepressants, and beta-blockers.

 

(NIMH, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders; Mindful, https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/; NIH, https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/relaxation-techniques-what-you-need-to-know; Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/behavioral-therapy)

McFarlin Databases about Health

For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.

Getting Help

You may want to get help for anxiety if it lasts for a long period of time or begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you treat anxiety.

This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:

 

Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline