The Anxiety Cycle​

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

When you’re about to do something new, difficult, or uncomfortable, like taking the SAT, trying out of the basketball team, learning how to drive, participating in a debate, talking to an unfamiliar student, your alarm goes off. Your body reacts as if it’s in danger. Your mind starts thinking about all the bad things that could happen. Your instincts tell you to “avoid at all costs!” and worry sets in. If you follow the instinct to avoid, you might skip doing the new or difficult thing or try not to think about it. You do feel a little better in that moment, but then your mind and body just learned that this situation was “dangerous” instead of difficult or uncomfortable. That’s the anxiety cycle.

Lumate Health provides a treatment program for teens and young adults struggling with anxiety. Learn about how treatment works.

arrow TL 1 generalized anxiety disorder

A "what if" thought pops up.

arrow TR 1 generalized anxiety disorder

You feel better because you avoided it, but your brain learns it was dangerous!

The Anxiety Cycle

Your body's alarm goes off.

arrow BL 1 generalized anxiety disorder

You avoid the thing you worried about.

arrow BR 1 generalized anxiety disorder

... and repeat

Break the Anxiety Cycle

Challenge Your Thoughts • Be Brave • Take Control

Crisis Support:

Emergency: 911

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: 988

National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433)

Crisis Text Line: Text “DESERVE” TO 741-741

Lifeline Crisis Chat (Online live messaging)

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Essential local and community services: 211

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