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Anxietas (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

The feeling of anxiety is common in severe stresses, but can also be an independent disease. Anxiety can be a part of another mental illness. Alcohol and substance abuse aggravates anxiety. There are medicines that can relieve anxiety. In case of suicidal thoughts, contact your doctor immediately.


Fear and horror are normal reactions to events that are perceived to be dangerous. For example, most people become terrified when exposed to violence or robbery. Anxiety is a similar reaction, but where the triggering cause is unknown. 

For fear, horror and anxiety, the body reacts with palpitation, sweating, dryness of the mouth, shaking hands and inner turmoil. 

Anxiety may also occur with a very rapid superficial breathing (hyperventilation). 

Anxiety can be experienced in people without mental illness. More than every tenth is hit once in a state of anxiety. This is especially about illness anxiety, fear of staying in a closed room or anxiety when you are together with many people. 

Anxiety is often experienced in people with mental illnesses – e.g. people with alcohol or substance abuse, schizophrenia, depression and mental reaction after violent events - post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Anxiety, when particularly pronounced, can be treated with medicine.

What can you do?

Anxiety can be a reaction to severe stresses. In such cases, the load and not the anxiety should be treated. Consider your life situation.
Alcohol and drugs only aid short-term anxiety and aggravate anxiety over time. Therefore, avoid alcohol and other abuse when you have anxiety.
In case of rapid surface breathing (hyperventilation) re-breathing in a bag is effective.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

In anxiety that affects your everyday life.
If you have a mental illness at the same time.

Contact the doctor immediately

In case of suicidal thoughts attempting suicide or if you are considering a suicide method.