UWG Cares Home at The University of West Georgia

Log On

Stress and Anxiety

It’s a fact.
In 2008, The American Institute of Stress reported that stress has a costly price tag for the U.S. work industry, estimated at over $300B annually due to absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity, etc. 

It’s also a fact.
Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost 1/3 of the country's $148 billion total mental health bill, according to "The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders," a study commissioned by Anxiety Disorder Association of American (ADAA) and published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, July 1999.

Needless to say, we’ve all felt some level of stress or anxiety in our lives. But, what exactly are we dealing with?

According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), stress is "the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change. " Stress is usually considered synonymous to distress, which is defined by dictionaries as "physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension. " Not all stress is bad. There is good stress. According to AIS, “increased stress results in increased productivity – up to a point, after which things go rapidly downhill.”

Anxiety is a fear response that can be  normal yet intense reaction to stress.  It can help one cope and in dealing with tense situations (difficult job duties, studying for tests etc.). But when anxiety becomes an excessive, it becomes a disabling disorder. Anxiety may occur without a cause or may be based on a real situation, but the response can be out of proportion to what would normally be expected.

There are multiple anxiety disorders. More information is available to you here. Listed below is information on the various types of anxiety and to the right, you will find additional resources helping you to understand and identify anxiety symptoms.

Generalized Anxiety:
Excessive, unrealistic worry, lasting six months or more. Anxiety may focus on issues like health, money, or career. Besides worry, GAD symptoms include trembling, muscular aches, insomnia, abdominal upsets, dizziness, and irritability.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
Recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors include handwashing, counting, checking, or cleaning. This ritualistic behavior provides only temporary relief, and not performing them significantly increases anxiety.

Panic Disorder:
Severe attacks of panic, which makes an individual feel as if he or she is having a heart attack or can't breathe for any apparent reason. Symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, sweating, trembling, tingling sensations, feeling of choking, fear of dying, fear of losing control, and feelings of unreality. Panic Disorder can occur with agoraphobia. This is marked by an avoidance of places where one would have difficulty escaping in the event of a panic attack.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
Results from exposure to a traumatic event such as a sexual or physical assault, witnessing a death or natural disaster. Three main symptoms are "reliving" the trauma through flashbacks or nightmares, avoiding places related to the trauma and emotional numbing (detachment from others), difficulty sleeping, irritability, or poor concentration.

Social Anxiety Disorder:
Over-whelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. It can be limited to only one type of situation like fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, but it also may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms anytime they are around  people.

Tips On Managing Job Stress 
Stress Relief Tips
American Institute of Stress
Anxiety Disorder Association of America
eMedicine Health
National Institute of Mental Health