How Long Does it Take for Anxiety to Go Away?

Licensed clinical social worker with experience in therapy for over 20 years; Experience as a therapist and clinical director in public mental health, private practice, and in various treatment centers.

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How Long Does it Take for Anxiety to Go Away?

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Each of us experiences anxiety at different times and for different reasons unique to our circumstances. Most types of anxiety are based around a specific cause and can last for varying lengths of time. For instance, think about a future significant work meeting, a school exam, or fixating on a past event – anxiety is a wide-ranging feeling that impacts us in various ways.

Anxiety is a natural reaction of stress that serves to protect us and notify us of important matters. Nevertheless, excessive anxiety in relation to a specific situation, resulting in prolonged distress, unease, or fear due to an emotional stimulus, or impacting our capacity to operate, may suggest the presence of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety: Causes and Risks.


There are a number of possible factors that can increase the likelihood of anxiety including: 

Environmental factors: For example, a person’s family composition, their cultural and religious upbringing, and many other childhood experiences can influence anxiety levels.

Traumatic experiences: Studies have confirmed links between childhood traumas and an increased likelihood of having anxiety symptoms later in life. 

Life Stressors: There are many and they can affect people in different ways. Social anxiety impacts individuals when they must act in front of others and fear being judged or criticized. Anxiety can arise from worries about facing stigma and exclusion based on gender and sexual identity. Systemic racism or socioeconomic marginalization can lead to psychological distress. The increase in eco-anxiety reflects a growing concern for the environment. Medical issues also frequently cause us to feel anxiety about our health or that of a loved one.

Genetics: These may vary among age groups, demographics, and genders. Research on identical twins who have been separated indicates that there is likely a genetic component to anxiety. However more work is needed to understand which genes cause anxiety and how this interacts with environmental factors. 


Experiencing anxiety could increase the risk of developing certain long-term physical health problems, including diabetes, stomach ulcers and heart problems, according to some studies. But there’s not enough evidence to say for sure exactly what the risks are, or what groups of people are most likely to be affected.

How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety Disorder?

Feeling anxious and having anxiety disorder are not the same. Anxiety is an emotion characterized by tension, worried thoughts, and physical characteristics, such as increased blood pressure and sweating. 

An anxiety disorder involves recurring, intrusive thoughts or concerns and other specific criteria that lead to a diagnosis. The exact causes of anxiety disorders are unknown.

You have the choice to utilize a self-evaluation such as the GAD-7 screening tool to help identify your condition. It evaluates the frequency of common symptoms you are facing and, depending on your answers, determines where you may fall on a scale of anxiety ranging from mild to severe. GAD-7 is a short form for “generalized anxiety disorder”. This could help you decide if you should seek medical assistance for further assessment and treatment.

Identifying an anxiety disorder can be difficult since it presents similar symptoms to other mental health conditions.

Initially, the doctor conducts a physical examination, inquires about your symptoms, and suggests a blood test to aid in identifying if a different condition, like hypothyroidism, could be the root cause of your symptoms. The physician might also inquire about your current medications because certain medications can trigger anxiety symptoms.

Following this you would see a psychiatrist or psychologist for a psychological evaluation. They will ask if you have a family history of an anxiety disorder or depression. He or she asks about your symptoms, then makes a diagnosis and may prescribe various treatments.

Forms of Anxiety Disorder

There are a number of types of anxiety disorders, as follows:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Chronic anxiety about common, everyday experiences and situations.Extreme and unrealistic worry and tension about health, work, school and relationships.— even if there’s nothing to trigger these feelings. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.
  • Panic disorder: Frequent, intense, sudden recurring panic attacks. Often with stronger, more intense feelings than other types of anxiety disorders. Feelings of terror may start suddenly and unexpectedly or they may come from a trigger, like facing a situation you dread. Panic attacks can resemble heart attacks. 
  • Phobias: Intense fear of a specific thing or situation such as barking dogs or heights
  • Social anxiety disorder: Intense, overwhelming fear and anxiety about social situations and extreme self-consciousness with daily social situations with fear of embarrassment or judgment.  Possible avoidance of social situations entirely.
  • Agoraphobia: Intense fear of being overwhelmed or unable to get help with a fear of enclosed spaces, lines or crowds and open spaces among others. Agoraphobia may involve a fear of even leaving the house.
  • Separation anxiety disorder: Intense fear of losing the people you love or important people in your life. Typically felt more by children and teens who fear their parents may not return as promised.

Does Anxiety Ever Go Away?

Acute anxiety usually goes away once the threat or stressor passes and your system calms down. 

However, anxiety can linger beyond the triggering event and become out of proportion. This chronic (long-term) or severe anxiety can seriously impair your daily functioning.

While you can’t banish anxiety altogether, anxiety and anxiety disorders can be treated and managed. Typically this involves a combination of approaches including:

  • Talk therapy: Common forms of include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Family or Couples therapy
  • Medications: Usually combined with talk therapy, they include: Anti-anxiety medications (Benzodiazepines), Beta-blockers, antidepressants such as Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and Tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Self-Management: These methods can be done directly at home. Mindfulness meditation, yoga, journaling, art therapy, exercise.

How Long Does Anxiety Last?

As reported in Healthmatch, data from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2 indicates the median duration of an anxiety disorder is around 7.5 months.  

Some studies report that generalized anxiety disorder follows a pattern of recovery and relapse for up to 20 years. Much depends on the individual’s resilience, coping strategies, support systems and ability to follow treatment plans.


Anxiety Disorders. 2024. National Institute for Mental Health.
How Long Does Anxiety Last? What You Need To Know About Living With Anxiety. 2022.

Licensed clinical social worker with experience in therapy for over 20 years; Experience as a therapist and clinical director in public mental health, private practice, and in various treatment centers.

Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.