Explains anxiety and panic attacks, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
Anxiety feels different for everyone. You might experience some of the things listed below, and you might also have other experiences or difficulties that aren't listed here.
Watch Alex talk about the physical impact anxiety has on his body in this video:
"I could feel all these physical symptoms building inside me, literally filling every part of my body until I felt completely light-headed and disembodied."
"I constantly thought I was dying of undiagnosed illnesses, because I was convinced that the physical symptoms were too bad to be ‘just anxiety’."
Anxiety symptoms can last for a long time, or come and go. You might find you have difficulty with day-to-day aspects of your life, including:
In some cases anxiety can have a serious impact on your ability to work. (See our pages on how to be mentally healthy at work for information on how to cope. Our legal pages on discrimination at work can provide information about your rights in the workplace.)
If you drive you may have to tell the DVLA that you have anxiety. (For information on your right to drive, including when and how to contact the DVLA, see our legal pages on fitness to drive.)
This information was published in September 2017. We will revise it in 2020.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.