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Some anxiety is normal in everyday life.  When anxiety becomes excessive or overwhelming, it can present significant problems for college students. It may impact your ability to function in school, socially, or in relationships. Anxiety may manifest itself in many ways, including:

  • Frequent and uncontrollable worrying
  • Physical symptoms such as difficulty breathing, stomach problems, and headaches
  • Sleeplessness, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, fatigue
  • Sweating, heart palpitations, shaking
  • Lowered self-esteem

Types of Anxiety

There are many different ways that anxiety can manifest itself.  Symptoms can be categorized into different anxiety disorders which a professional therapist can help to diagnose. Some of the more common anxiety disorders include:

  • Panic Disorder: People with Panic Disorder will often experience unexpected attacks of anxiety and intense fear, which occur frequently and randomly. These feelings may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as sweating, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and difficulty breathing. A panic attack will usually peak within a few minutes, but some symptoms may last longer, and the fear that the panic attack will return can be debilitating.

  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Also known as Social Phobia, this disorder describes a frequent, irrational fear of social situations. The fear may be of being watched and judged by others, or acting in a way that may be embarrassing. As a result, a person may avoid social situations entirely, or try to ensure that they are not the focus of attention.

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: People with OCD may experience constant thoughts or worries that result in the performance of specific routines or rituals. These rituals may significantly interfere with a person’s life and daily routine, such as a person who frequently washes his or her hands because of a fear of germs. In this disorder, Obsessions are the thoughts that a person will have about a situation, and Compulsions are the ritualistic behaviors.

  • Specific Phobias: An intense, persistent fear of objects or situations. Examples of these include snakes, spiders, heights, and water. When a person is in the presence of one of these objects, he or she may have an immediate and intense reaction, in which the level of fear is greater than the actual threat.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: The more common of the anxiety disorders, GAD is characterized by excessive worry and tension. Sometimes there is a focus for this anxiety, such as specific events or situations, but often people will have an overall feeling of always being “on edge” and have difficulty in managing their level of anxiety in most aspects of their lives.

Where to Go to Manage Anxiety

If you are experiencing problems with anxiety, you can contact the Drexel University Counseling Center at (215) 895-1415 and ask to speak with a professional counselor who can help you to understand and better manage your anxiety. In addition, there are a variety of excellent resources available online, some of which we have included below:

There are also many books available for purchase to learn to cope with anxiety concerns. Some of the more popular ones include:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, 5th Edition. (2011). Edmund J. Bourne, New Harbinger Publications.
The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, 6th Edition. (2008). Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay. New Harbinger Publications.
Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry: Workbook, 2nd Edition. (2006). Michelle Craske and David Barlow. Psychological Corporation.

The content provided here is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment, nor should it replace the consultation of a trained medical or mental health professional. Please note that outside links are not under our control, and we cannot guarantee the content contained on them.