When we feel anxious, our bodies go into a ‘fight or flight’ response.

What happens when our bodies or brains sense threat

When our bodies or brains feel that we are faced with a threat, we may experience a rush of adrenaline that can help the body to prepare for a quick response. 

It can take just a few seconds for our bodies to process a situation and decide how they are going to handle it.


How might I feel?

You may experience physical symptoms, which can range from mild to severe.

These can include:

Once the body/brain sends out a clear signal that we are not faced with a real threat, the fight or flight response is deactivated and then the nervous system can relax.

Anxiety Disorders

There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Phobias
  • Social phobia
  • Panic attacks
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Support is available

No matter what type of anxiety a person may be challenged with, there is support available and there are people who can help you with it.

If you ever think or feel that anxiety is getting in the way of your daily life, is there a trusted adult you can talk with about how you are feeling? They might be able to support you with arranging an appointment with your doctor, or a mental health professional.

Anxiety disorders are typically treated by mental health professionals or therapists. They provide support and guidance and teach coping skills, such a relaxation techniques and breathing exercises. In some situations, medication can be used as part of the treatment for anxiety.

Regular exercise, good nutrition and a good nights’ sleep are all important factors that can help you understand your anxiety and help you gain access to the correct tools to help control and maintain your anxiety.

If you would like to talk at any time of the day or night, Childline is here for you.

Other supports available include:​


is a site provided by the HSE. There you can find information about many issues related to mental health and also find information about other support services.​


is the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Jigsaw Services provide young people aged 12-25 with a place they can visit for free and confidential support from trained mental health professionals.


The HSE's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, known as CAMHS

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