Anxiety is a normal feeling that many students experience throughout their university and academic career. Anxiety causes distress for a significant number of Brock students.

Writing exams and papers, meeting deadlines, public speaking and presentations, highly demanding schedules and social pressures can lead to a sense of worry or even fear. These sensations, however uncomfortable, are different from the ones associated with an anxiety disorders. Like many other mental health issues, anxiety disorders are a result of a combination of biological, psychological and other individual factors.

Anxiety disorders

An anxiety disorder differs from normal anxiety in that the anxiety experienced is more severe or intense, long-lasting and interferes with the person’s ability to function at work, school and in relationships. People with anxiety disorders have excessive levels of anxiety and can experience anxiety when a person is not in a state of danger. In other words, the anxiety the person experiences doesn’t match the situation. Some individuals experience generalized anxiety while others may have specific phobias. Anxiety can also be triggered by a traumatic event.

Signs and symptoms

  • A sense of impending doom, imminent danger, fear of dying.
  • Feeling detached, speeding/slowing of thoughts, easily distracted, insomnia, irritability, impatience, anger.
  • Palpitations, chest pain, flushing, hyperventilation, dizziness, headache, sweating, numbness, dry mouth, upset stomach.


There are many different effective treatments for anxiety. Everyone responds to treatment differently so some of these may work better than others. Treatment options include:

  • Counselling
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Drug Therapy (i.e. anti-anxiety drugs)
  • Alternative Treatments (self-help books, physical exercise, acupuncture, meditation)

Often, more than one treatment can be used in combination with another to ensure the most successful results.