A vicious cycle can sometimes develop which can keep your anxiety going. Because the symptoms of anxiety can be both uncomfortable and frightening, people can think that something terrible is actually happening. This can make you feel more anxious and, in turn, make the symptoms even worse.
Someone who has felt anxious in a certain situation may start to expect and fear feeling these symptoms in future situations. And this can actually help to trigger the symptoms that they were fearing.
Safety Behaviors and Avoidance
Safety behaviors are things you might do to feel safer or less anxious, such as always carrying medication with you or sitting near the exit. Some people can also start avoiding or wanting to escape from situations that make them feel anxious like being in a crowded place or travelling on the bus. This is called avoidance.
The cycle in the above image shows how our thoughts, feelings, and the way we behave can all be connected. Safety behaviors (and avoidance) may reduce the discomfort that you’re feeling, right now. You can become dependent on them and start to believe that you can’t do certain things without them.