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Reclaim Your Wonderful Mind

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations. For some people, however, anxiety can become excessive. While the person suffering may realize their anxiety is too much, they may also have difficulty controlling it and it may negatively affect their day-to-day living.1

Check your anxiety: Students share what works (and what doesn’t)

Don’t panic: How to get a hold of your anxiety

Speaking, performing, presenting? How to turn fear into fuel

Stress and anxiety are normal responses to life. They can motivate us, but too much can hurt us. The next time you feel stressed or anxious:

  1. Take a couple of deep, slow breaths.

  2. Spend a few minutes checking in with each of your five senses. What do you see, hear, taste, touch and smell?

  3. Repeat this exercise as often as needed.

Also, eat healthy, nourishing foods, exercise regularly, get enough sleep (7–9 hours each day), drink more water than caffeine, stay positive and remind yourself that you cannot control everything. 

See more great ways to cope with anxiety from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Everyday Anxiety

Anxiety Disorder

Worry about paying bills, landing a job, a romantic breakup or other important life events

Constant and unsubstantiated worry that causes significant distress and interferes with daily life

Embarrassment or self-consciousness in an uncomfortable or awkward social situation

Avoiding social situations for fear of being judged, embarrassed or humiliated

A case of nerves or sweating before a big test, business presentation, stage performance or other significant event

Seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and the preoccupation with the fear of having another one

Realistic fear of a dangerous object, place or situation

Irrational fear or avoidance of an object, place or situation that poses little or no threat of danger

Making sure that you are healthy and living in a safe hazard-free environment

Performing uncontrollable repetitive actions such as excessive cleaning or checking, or touching and arranging

Anxiety, sadness or difficulty sleeping immediately after a traumatic event

Recurring nightmares, flashbacks or emotional numbing related to a traumatic event that occurred several months or years before

Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Understanding the Facts of Anxiety Disorders and Depression is the First Step. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

  • Characterized by persistent, excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday things; sufferers spend a lot of time dwelling on “what if?” and imagining the worst possible outcomes

  • Diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least six months

  • GAD interferes with day-to-day life and can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea, trembling and fidgeting

  • Affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the US population

  • Women are twice as likely as men to experience Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety and Depression Association of America, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

ULifeline, Anxiety Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

  • Unwanted and intrusive thoughts that individuals can’t get out of their heads that compels them to repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors/routines to ease anxiety

  • For example, OCD sufferers may do the following:

    • Wash their hands repeatedly because of an irrational fear of germs

    • Check doors over and over to be sure they’re locked

  • OCD can be an extremely disabling illness that interferes with work, school and social obligations

  • Most individuals with OCD are aware that their obsessions and compulsions are irrational, yet they feel powerless to stop them

Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

ULifeline, Anxiety Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

  • Characterized by recurring panic attacks in which a person feels extreme physical anxiety that can last several minutes

  • Symptoms of a panic attack can include shortness of breath, sweating and feeling disoriented.

  • People are sometimes preoccupied with the fear of a reoccurring attack

  • Affects six million adults in the US

  • Women are twice as likely as men to experience panic attacks


  • Some individuals who experience panic attacks avoid situations or places in which they had a previous panic attack in anticipation of it happening again

  • Avoid certain places because feel that immediate escape might be difficult

  • About one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia

Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

ULifeline, Anxiety Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

  • PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war or violent assault

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares

  • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people and activities that are reminders of the trauma

  • Difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and easily irritated and angered

  • Diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for a least one month after traumatic event 

  • Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD

  • Often occurs with depression, substance abuse or other anxiety disorders

Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

ULifeline, Anxiety Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

  • The extreme fear of being judged by others in social or performance situations; causes a person distress in social situations

  • An extreme form of shyness

  • Also called social phobia

  • Social anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as trembling, nausea and sweating in social settings

  • Affects 15 million adults in the U.S.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Social Anxiety Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

ULifeline, Anxiety Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

Anxiety disorders are manageable with treatment, such as counseling and/or medication. A healthy lifestyle also plays an important role in managing anxiety—adequate sleep, nutrition and exercise can all help minimize symptoms, as can relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. If you or someone you know may have an anxiety disorder, contact CAPS, especially if thoughts of suicide are present.2


Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

CAPS, located in Redfern Health Center, provides a safe and confidential environment for students to address stressors and psychological needs that may occur during their time in college. An after-hours CAPS counselor is available and can be reached by calling the Clemson University Police Department at 864-656-2222 and asking for the CAPS counselor on call.

Appointments/Accessing Services

Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) Self-Enrolled Self-Help for Anxiety

Services and Programs Offered by CAPS


Office of Advocacy and Success

FAQs: Do you have questions about CARE Reports, dropping a class or withdrawing, or advocates on campus?

CARE NetworkSubmit a CARE Report

Academic Success Center  

Campus Recreation

Lead a healthy lifestyle and be active - check out all the fitness options on campus

Dining Services

Lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet - know the nutritional content of your food and upcoming menus at the dining halls on campus

Local and National

American Psychiatric Association: Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

MentalHealth.gov: Anxiety Disorders

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Anxiety Disorders

National Institute of Mental Health: Anxiety Disorders

Student Mental Health: A Guide to Identifying Disorders and Promoting Wellness



2ULifeline, Anxiety Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL

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1National Institute of Mental Health, Anxiety Disorders. (May 2015). Retrieved from URL