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How do I know if I have anxiety?

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Psychologists Cameron Staley and Jennifer Miesch discuss why we experience anxiety and how we can respond to these feelings in a healthier way.

One of the most common reasons students seek counseling is for anxiety concerns. So what is anxiety? Anxiety is a cluster of physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts that reflects anticipation of future threats. Feelings of anxiety can become problematic when we attempt to control these uncomfortable sensations by avoiding people and situations that evoke feelings of anxiety.

Often individuals become anxious about experiencing normal feelings of anxiety that are designed to protect us from real or perceived danger. Becoming familiar with our body’s normal response to threat can be helpful in better navigating anxiety concerns.

Managing stress through physical activity, social connections, and engaging in what matters in life is a helpful way to reduce the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder. If you are interested in learning more about whether or not you meet criteria for an anxiety disorder, meet with a mental health professional instead of attempting to diagnose yourself.

The information provided in this conversation is educational in nature and not intended to replace professional mental health services. The information should not be used as psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a mental health problem. Please be aware, the content of this podcast could be potentially upsetting at times as conversations address sensitive topics such as trauma, substance use, and suicide.

To learn more about counseling services for currently enrolled ISU students or general mental health resources, visit the ISU’s Counseling and Testing Service website. Crisis support is available by calling or texting 988.