By Renée Grinnell

Feelings of dread or worry, often accompanied by physical signs of arousal, which are a normal reaction to stress. Excessive anxiety with no obvious source, however, may point to an anxiety disorder.

Example: A patient anticipating surgery complains of palpitations, shortness of breath, nausea, diarrhea, and sweating spells.

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Oct 2008