Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.

Symptoms of Anxiety:

  • Sweating
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or feeling faint
  • Trembling
  • Increased or irregular heartbeat
  • Back pain
  • Nausea or gastrointestinal problems
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Being easily startled
  • Recurring and ongoing feelings of worry, with or without known stressors
  • Avoidance of certain situations that may cause worry, often affecting the quality of life


Major Anxiety Disorders

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): This is a chronic disorder involving excessive anxiety and worries about several events or activities for most days during at least a six month period. Symptoms of GAD are restlessness, easily fatigued, difficulty in concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbances and impairment in social, occupational and other daily functioning.
  • Panic disorder: Brief or sudden attacks of intense terror and apprehension characterize the panic disorder. These attacks can lead to shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and breathing difficulties. Panic attacks tend to occur and escalate rapidly and peak after 10 minutes. However, they may last for hours. Symptoms of panic disorder are severe palpitations, pounding heart, sweating, trembling or shaking, extreme shortness of breath, feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, feeling faint, derealization or depersonalization, fear of losing control, fear of dying, numbness etc…
  • Phobia: This is an irrational fear and avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias differ from other anxiety disorders, as they relate to a specific cause. The fear may be acknowledged as irrational or unnecessary, but the person is still unable to control the anxiety. Phobia comes in many forms. Some of the most common phobias are height, darkness, insects, animals blood, strangers etc…
  • Social anxiety disorder: This is a fear of being negatively judged by others in social situations or a fear of public embarrassment. This includes a range of feelings, such as stage fright, a fear of intimacy, and a fear of humiliation. This disorder can cause people to avoid public situations and human contact to the point that everyday living is rendered extremely difficult.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): This is an anxiety disorder in which the individual has anxiety-provoking thoughts that will not go away (obsession) and urges to perform repetitive, ritualistic behaviours to prevent or produce some future situation  (compulsion). Individuals with OCD repeat and rehearse normal doubts and daily routines, sometimes hundreds of times a day.

The most common compulsions are excessive handwashing or taking bath, checking and counting.


  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This is anxiety that results from previous trauma such as military combat, sexual assault, natural disasters and accidents. Symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, constricted ability to feel emotions, sleep disturbances, difficulties in memory and concentrations, feelings of apprehension and impulsive outbursts.



Treating a person with anxiety depends on the causes of the anxiety and individual preferences. Often, treatments will consist of a combination of psychotherapy, behavioural therapy, yoga therapy and medication.

There are several exercises and actions that are recommended to cope with this type of anxiety:

  • Stress management: Learning to manage stress can help limit potential triggers. Keep an eye on pressures and deadlines, compile lists to make daunting tasks more manageable, and commit to taking time off from study or work.
  • Relaxation techniques: Simple activities can be used to relax mental and physical signs of anxiety. These include meditation, deep breathing exercises, long baths and yoga asanas.
  • Exercises to replace negative thoughts with positive ones: Make a list of the negative thoughts you experience, and write down a list of positive, believable thoughts to replace them. Picturing yourself successfully facing and conquering a specific fear can also be beneficial if the anxiety symptoms are related to a specific cause.
  • Support network: Talk with a person who is supportive, such as a family member or friend.
  • Exercise: Physical exertion can improve self-image and release chemicals in the brain that trigger positive feelings.

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Psychologist Jayesh K.G

Jayesh KG Consultant Psychologist & Remedial Educator

Jayesh K.G is an experienced and eminent Psychologist based in Thrissur and Kochi. He is currently working as Consultant Psychologist & Child Specialist at POSITIVE Psycho therapeutic Clinic, Thrissur. He worked as a Consultant Psychologist, Dept. of Child and Adolescent Guidance Clinic, Healing Minds-A clinic for mind wellness, Kochi. He is also leading the Department of Child and Adolescent Guidance Clinic at CHILD Development & Psychotherapy Clinic, Kodungallur and Olive Health Care, Vatanapalli.

Jayesh undertakes programs to increase awareness regarding mental health issues among the general population with the help of visual and print media.

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