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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is characterized by a feeling of uneasiness, apprehension or tension in response to stressful situations and can be mild or intense enough to trigger panic. Brought on by alcohol, caffeine and certain drugs, as well as conditions like a heart problem or a lack of vitamins, some anxiety disorders manifest themselves in such conditions as obsessive compulsive disorder, in which a task like washing your hands becomes so habitual that you have to do it 40 times a day. Good for containing germs; bad for time management.

The great news? Knowing about a disorder like anxiety lets you do something about it. That can mean the difference between it being an annoyance that you can manage (like, say, peeling paint in your home) and a major life disturber (like a fire that destroys most of your house).

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.