What is Anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

Everything you Need to Know About Anxiety Disorders

In a very general scope, anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can have symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

What is mild anxiety? Whilst everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point throughout their lives during stressful or worrisome periods, such as exams, public speaking events or job interviews, some people do find it hard to control these worries which can often affect their daily lives due to constant feelings of anxiety.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition that can cause people to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than just one specific event at one time.

People suffering from generalised anxiety disorder feel a sense of anxiety most days, and sufferers often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed or not on edge, and it can be debilitating.

This type of anxiety can even stop you from doing things you typically enjoy, and can even stop you from doing what seems like simple things - like getting into a lift, crossing the road, or even leaving home. Leaving your anxiety alone treatment will only make the issue get worse.

What is Anxiety Disorder?

If your symptoms of anxiety are extreme, last for longer than six months at a time, and are interfering with your daily life, you may have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is also the main symptom of several other conditions, and there are multiple types of anxiety disorder. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Panic disorder: experiencing recurring panic attacks at unexpected times, causing you to live in fear of the next panic attack.
  • Agoraphobia, claustrophobia, and other phobias: excessive fears of objects, situations, or activities.
  • PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: anxiety following traumatic events.
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia): an extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific, repeated behaviours.
  • Separation anxiety disorder: a fear of being away from home or loved ones.
  • Illness anxiety disorder: intense fear and anxiety about your health (formerly known as hypochondria.)
  • Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD): this means that you experience obsessions and compulsions relating to your physical appearance.
  • Perinatal anxiety or perinatal OCD - some people develop anxiety disorders which included during pregnancy, or in the first year after giving birth.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)? - The Causes

While the exact cause of GAD is not fully understood, it is likely that a combination of a number of different factors plays a role in developing these mental health disorders.

According to the NHS, some factors that can cause GAD may include:

  • Overactivity within the areas of the brain is responsible for emotion and behaviour regulation.
  • An imbalance of serotonin and noradrenaline chemicals in the brain. These are responsible for the control and regulation of mood. T
  • he genes you inherit from your parents could mean that you’re 5 times more likely to develop GAD if you are a close relation to someone with the condition.
  • A personal history involving stressful or traumatic experiences. These can include but are not limited to, domestic violence, bullying, or child abuse. A personal history of drug or alcohol misuse.
  • Painful long-term health conditions or medical conditions, like arthritis.

Although the above can be reasons to end up developing a generalised anxiety disorder, many people find that they can develop GAD for no apparent reason.

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

There are multiple symptoms of GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) as it can feel different depending on the person experiencing it. Feelings can range from butterflies in your stomach, to a rapidly racing heart. You may also feel out of control of a situation, or like there’s a disconnect between your mind and your body.

Some other symptoms of GAD include nightmares, panic attacks, and painful thoughts or memories that are out of your control. You may have a feeling of intense fear and worry, or you may be fearful of a specific place or event. What is anxiety like? Some symptoms of GAD include:

  • An increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • A feeling of restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Activation of your fight or flight response

Your anxiety symptoms may be completely different to someone else’s experience, which is why it is important for you to know all the ways anxiety can be present in someone, and yourself. Find our symptoms of anxiety article here.

What is an Anxiety Attack?

An anxiety attack consists of feelings of overwhelming apprehension, worry, distress, or fear. What is severe anxiety? For many sufferers of generalised or severe anxiety, an anxiety attack can slowly build over time - however, it may worsen with the approach of a stressful event.

Anxiety attacks can vary and greatly differ from person to person, and may not even occur in some people suffering from a mild anxiety condition. This is because not everyone experiences anxiety in the same way, and the condition can change over time from person to person.

What is an anxiety attack? Some common symptoms include:

  • A feeling of dizziness or faintness
  • Being short of breath Dry mouth that can’t be solved by drinking water
  • Sweating Chills or hot flashes
  • Feeling apprehensive or worried
  • Restlessness
  • Distress
  • Fear
  • Numbness or tingling Increased heart rate

A common misconception is that a panic attack and an anxiety attack are the same things. While anxiety attacks and panic attacks do share some common symptoms, they are not the same.

Treatments for Generalised Anxiety Disorder in the UK

Having a generalised anxiety disorder can have a real and significant effect on how you go about your daily life. There are several different treatments for mental health conditions in the UK that can ease symptoms.

According to the NHS, these include:

  • Psychological therapies - you can get therapies, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on the NHS. You will not need a referral from a GP, and you can even refer yourself for these therapies in your area.
  • Medicine - some medicines, like an antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are available for this condition.

According to the NHS, many people are able to control their levels of anxiety with this kind of treatment, but they may need to be continued for a longer period in order to see improvements.

Anxiety and Depression

Many people suffering from mild to heightened anxiety also suffer from depression. While these two mental health disorders can occur separately, it is not an unusual occurrence for them to happen together.

What has heightened anxiety? This kind of anxiety can be a symptom of clinical or major depression. Likewise, worsening symptoms of depression can even be triggered by an anxiety disorder.

In order to manage and take some form of control over your mental health, symptoms of both of these mental health conditions can be managed with many similar treatment options, such as psychotherapy or counselling, talk therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes.

Can Foods Treat Anxiety?

Studies show that many people suffering from anxiety are not getting enough magnesium in their diet. A low intake of magnesium can lead to various problems that may not be recognised as being from a magnesium deficiency, therefore, increasing your intake of magnesium may aid with symptoms of anxiety and provide a further range of benefits to your body and mind.

The best way to increase your intake of magnesium is through foods that are rich in minerals. These foods include, but are not limited to:

Leafy Greens:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens


  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Edamame


  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Brazil nuts

Whole Grains:

  • Dry buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice

OHMG Water, Aiding Anxiety with Magnesium

By increasing your intake of magnesium through a healthy diet, you can help your body and mind work at their very best. Studies show that a dose of magnesium between 75 and 360 mg of magnesium per day can have anti-anxiety effects, as well as a range of other benefits. So. in order to get a handle on your anxiety and help your mind to wind down; why not try OHMG water?

Containing 56mg of magnesium per can, about as much as an avocado, OHMG water is available in a wide range of delicious flavours that can give your body and mind that extra boost throughout the day.

Make OHMG a part of your magnesium journey today

Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash

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