Anxiety plays a part in everyone’s life. Everyday situations can cause stress and anxiety, such as sitting exams, work deadlines or worrying about our health.

But anxiety can become a mental health problem when these feelings become overwhelming and have a significant impact on people’s day to day lives.

The cause of someone’s anxiety can be linked to a specific event, however it can also be down to a number of factors which build up without a person realising. 

Anxiety can also be a symptom of other mental health problems, for example Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Eating Disorders or Postnatal Depression.

Anxiety can make you feel on edge, unable to concentrate, fearful and  irritable. Many people often experience physical symptoms, including an irregular heartbeat, sweating and shortness of  breath.

Symptoms can also cause people to withdraw from social contact (seeing your family and friends) to avoid feelings of worry and dread.

Common Experiences of Anxiety

  • Difficulty breathing, or hyperventilating.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Sickness.
  • Tight chest.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Headaches.
  • Strange pains/sensations in different areas of the body.
  • Feeling emotionally numb or dissociated.

 Personal Stories

“During my time at university I suffered from anxiety, which left me unable to complete my work a lot of the time, I was always handing work in late. I don’t feel that I had much support from the university."

“My advisor of studies was fantastic, he really helped me when it was all too much. However I feel that some of the lecturers on the course just thought I couldn’t cope with the work, and didn’t really give me a chance.”

– Heather McCartney

 Read Heather's story here.

More Information

Anxiety UK:


NHS Inform | Anxiety: