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Anxiety is an emotion which is characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil and includes feelings of dread over anticipated events.[1][2] It is often accompanied by nervous behavior such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints, and rumination.[3]

A job applicant exhibiting a facial configuration that in certain cultures is an expression of worry

Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness and worry, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing.[4] It is often accompanied by muscular tension,[5] restlessness, fatigue, inability to catch one's breath, tightness in the abdominal region, nausea, and problems in concentration. Anxiety is closely related to fear,[6] which is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat (fight or flight response); anxiety involves the expectation of future threat including dread.[5] People facing anxiety may withdraw from situations which have provoked anxiety in the past.[7]

Though anxiety is a typical human response, when excessive or persisting beyond developmentally appropriate periods it may be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder.[8] There are multiple forms of anxiety disorder (such as generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder) with specific clinical definitions.[9] Part of the definition of an anxiety disorder, which distinguishes it from everyday anxiety, is that it is persistent, typically lasting 6 months or more, although the criterion for duration is intended as a general guide with allowance for some degree of flexibility and is sometimes of shorter duration in children.[5]

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