A resource to support good mental health and wellbeing for the people of Qatar
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​Feelings of anxiety are a normal response when we are faced with threatening or stressful situation. However when these anxious feelings do not go away or exist without any particular cause, it can become a more serious problem. A person living with anxiety may experience uncontrollable and exaggerated worry, and makes it hard for them to cope with day to day activities and stresses.


What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a common mental illness, characterized by:

  • Constant worries and fears
  • Feelings of nervousness or tension
  • Recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or rapid heartbeat


What are the Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety?​

It is important to note that everyone can experience symptoms of anxiety from time to time and it may not necessarily mean that person has an anxiety disorder. 


Anxiety can affect different people in different ways, including their feelings, behavior, thoughts and physical health.


The list of symptoms below is a guide only and will not provide a diagnosis. If you are concerned you (or someone you know) are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, seek advice from a trained health professional.


Possible Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety include:


Behavior Feelings
  • Avoidance
  • Obsessive or compulsive behavior
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Distress in social situations
  • relying on substances, sedatives and drugs


  • Worried
  • Nervous
  • Panicked
  • Overwhelmed
  • Fearful
  • Irritable
Thoughts Physical Manifestation
  • "I can't control myself."
  • "People are judging me."
  • "I'm going crazy."
  •  Having upsetting dreams or flashbacks of a traumatic event
  • Finding it hard to stop worrying
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • hot or cold flushes
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shaking
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of concentration


"Anxiety can affect one's ability to do their job, to care for their family, to live today and plan for tomorrow."​


"I have anxiety so sometimes I stress out from work…"


"I felt like I was going mad, worrying about everything, feeling out of control, wondering what other people think of me, the way I look and the way I speak…it's exhausting"

"Anxiety completely took over my life and made everyday living extremely hard….i always fixate on the worst possible outcome…"


"I had these panic attacks and I was ashamed to tell my family and friends about them because they may not understand how it felt…when you're struggling with an invisible illness it can be difficult for people to understand"


Types of Anxiety ​

A trained health profession can provide a diagnosis of Anxiety depending on the severity, duration and type of symptoms. There are several types of anxiety including: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Feeling anxious on most days and worrying about lots of different things. This is an excessive, uncontrollable and unrealistic worry about everyday things, such as health, family, friends, money or career.


  • Panic Disorder: Experiencing panic attacks, which are intense and overwhelming feelings of anxiety combined with physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain and excessive perspiration. There is often fear that the panic attack will lead to death or a total loss of control.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Carrying out certain behaviors and rituals to manage intrusive thoughts and fears. The rituals are usually time consuming and seriously interfere with everyday life. For example, people may be obsessed with cleanliness, such as repeated ablution or recheck that the door is locked or the oven is turned off. People with OCD are often embarrassed and keep their rituals a secret, even from their families.


"I knew someone, a colleague at work…he washed his hands constantly, all day long"


  • Specific Phobias: Feeling very fearful about a particular object or situation and possibly going to great lengths to avoid it. These intense fears might include fear of heights, water, animals or closed spaces. When faced with the feared objects or situations, the person can become highly anxious and may experience a panic attack. Depending on the severity of the condition, people can go to great lengths to avoid situations that would force them to confront what they fear.

  • Social Phobia: An intense fear of being criticized, embarrassed or humiliated, even in everyday situations. Social or performance situations are often avoided or endured with intense distress.


Agoraphobia is not a specific disorder, but a component of anxiety where a person has a fear of being in places from which it may be difficult or embarrassing to get away. The most commonly experienced fears relate to a in a cluster of situations such as supermarkets, crowded places, confined spaces, public transport and busy roads.


  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Can occur after a person experiences a traumatic event. Symptoms can include upsetting dreams or flashbacks and avoidance of anything related to the event. People who have experienced major trauma, such as war, torture, vehicle accident, fire, or personal violence can continue to feel terror long after the event is over. The flashbacks are often brought about by triggers related to the experience, which the person then tries to avoid.


"Anxiety & Depression are the most commonly experienced mental illnesses in Qatar"

Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions

People with one anxiety disorder are more likely to have another, and also to experience depression. Harmful alcohol and other drug use often co-occurs with anxiety. This makes treatment more complex, and effectively managing alcohol and other drug use is important.

"Did you know that: Drinks which are high in caffeine content like coffee or energy drinks can worsen anxiety"