Anxiety is a state of dread, tension, and unease. It is considered a normal response to stress or uncertain situations. Feeling anxious for long periods of time or at intense levels may mean that you have an anxiety disorder. You may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder if the anxiety:

  • Occurs without an external threat (called "free-floating" anxiety)
  • Is excessive or unreasonable for the situation or threat
  • Negatively affects how you function during the day

The most common types of anxiety disorders are:

Anxiety may occur with other conditions, such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, anddepression.

Anxiety disorders may result from a combination of factors, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Factors in the environment

Chemical imbalances in the brain (e.g., serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA) may also play a role.