Everyone gets anxious from time to time – it’s a normal response to stressful situations like having a job interview. But for some people, the feelings of anxiety can be a lot more extreme and become what’s known as an anxiety disorder.

  • Generalised anxiety disorder is where someone feels anxious about a number of things on most days over a long period of time – 6 months or more.
  • Phobias, including social phobia are when someone feels very fearful about a particular object or situation and it interferes with life. Examples are fear of attending social events, driving across bridges, or travelling on planes.

Some other kinds of anxiety disorder are obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder.

Anxiety disorders can be managed and overcome with help. It’s important to recognise and treat them as soon as possible. Talk to your GP or health practitioner if anxiety is causing you problems.

To find out more about anxiety disorders or get support, visit the websites below.

Taking medicines for mood?

Medicines for epilepsy, mental health, and pain can harm your unborn baby (PDF, 240 KB) contains important information for people who could get pregnant who are:

  • near childbearing age and sexually active
  • thinking of getting pregnant or are pregnant.
  • taking medicines for epilepsy, pain, or mood regulation.

If you have any questions about this or your medication you should discuss this with your health provider. It is important that you keep taking your medication and that you talk to you doctor about any changes that will be right for you.

Related websites

Information and resources on recognising and understanding depression.

A free online tool to help young people learn to deal with depression and anxiety.

Health Navigator
The Health Navigator NZ website helps you find reliable and trustworthy health information and self-help resources.

Developed by the Starship Foundation and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand.

Anxiety New Zealand Trust
A non-profit organisation aiming to educate, support and treat severe anxiety, phobic and obsessive compulsive disorders.

Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation provides free information and training, and advocates for policies and services that support people with experience of mental illness.

Back to top