The same is true about worry. Worrying can be helpful when it is important to be prepared and consider possible things that could go wrong. But worrying about many things all the time is unhelpful and distressing. All anxiety problems involve being overly afraid or worried. When fear and worry are not necessary, are too strong and interfere with life, it is a problem and important to get help.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders. The type of anxiety is related to what the fears and worries are about and how they are handled. For example, separation anxiety is extreme worry that something bad will happen if the child is separated from the parent (e.g., school). Generalised anxiety is having extreme and constant worries about a lot of different things. Social anxiety is extreme fear of being humiliated in social situations. Phobias are unrealistic and extreme fears of situations or things (e.g., snakes, flying). Panic is the fear of dying or having a heart attack because of physical feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety isn’t caused by any one thing, but usually happens because of a combination of things. It can be caused by bad experiences, stress, chronic illness, or chemicals in the brain (not working like they should). Instability and unpredictability at home or in the community are common causes. Or it can seem to come out of the blue. Anxiety can run in families, so someone with a close relative who has anxiety may be more likely to experience it.