How Long Does Anxiety Last


Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. There are many different types or categories of anxiety  (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2022). All forms of anxiety, when severe, can cause feelings of nervousness, worry, and fear that can interfere with daily activities. One common question individuals with anxiety ask is, “how long does anxiety last?” Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question, as the duration of anxiety can vary widely from person to person and between types of anxiety.

For some individuals, anxiety may only last a few minutes or hours, while for others, it can persist for days or even weeks. The duration of anxiety can be affected by various factors, such as the severity of the symptoms, the individual’s response to treatment, and any underlying medical conditions.

The American Psychiatric Association (2022)  state that “Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms tend to be chronic and wax and wane across the life span, fluctuating between syndromal and subsyndromal forms of the disorder.” 


It’s important to note that anxiety is a treatable condition, and with the right treatment, many individuals are able to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Treatment for anxiety may include therapy, medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these approaches.

Therapy can be particularly effective in treating anxiety, as it helps individuals develop coping strategies and learn new ways to manage their symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety (Kaczkurkin & Foa, 2015). CBT focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety.

Medication can also be helpful in treating anxiety (Garakani, et al. 2020). Anti-anxiety medications work by reducing the symptoms of anxiety, such as panic attacks and excessive worry. It’s important to note that medication should be prescribed and monitored by an appropriately qualified healthcare professional, such as your General Practitioner or a Psychiatrist.

Lifestyle changes can also play a role in managing anxiety. Engaging in regular exercise (Schuch et al. 2019 ) , practicing relaxation techniques (Manzoni et al. 2008)  such as deep breathing or meditation, and getting enough sleep can all help manage symptoms of anxiety.

Getting Help

If you are struggling with anxiety, it’s important to seek help. Anxiety can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and it’s not something you have to go through alone. Understanding what type of anxiety you are experiencing can help. The Centre for Clinical Psychology in Melbourne offers  support to individuals with anxiety. We can help you understand your anxiety and work towards recovery. You can book an appointment by calling 03 9077 0122 or online at Remember, recovery is possible, and there is hope for a brighter future.


Anxiety Disorders. (2022). In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Vol. 1–0). American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

Garakani, A., Murrough, J. W., Freire, R. C., Thom, R. P., Larkin, K., Buono, F. D., & Iosifescu, D. V. (2020). Pharmacotherapy of Anxiety Disorders: Current and Emerging Treatment Options. Frontiers in psychiatry, 11, 595584.

Kaczkurkin, A. N., & Foa, E. B. (2015). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders: an update on the empirical evidence. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 17(3), 337–346.

Schuch, FB, Stubbs, B, Meyer, J, et al. Physical activity protects from incident anxiety: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Depress Anxiety. 2019; 36: 846– 858.
Manzoni, G.M., Pagnini, F., Castelnuovo, G. et al. Relaxation training for anxiety: a ten-years systematic review with meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry 8, 41 (2008).