Possible Symptoms

  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Problems with sleep
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness of hands and feet

Potential Impact on Work

  • Difficulties keeping on task
  • Poor communication/work relationships
  • Increased accidents and mishaps

What Leaders Can Do to Help

  • Know the behavioral signs
  • Ask the person directly about anxiety and worry¬† over stressors
  • Ask how you can be supportive
  • Ensure the person is safe at the workplace if focus/concentration is a concern
  • Explain that treatment for anxiety doesn't hurt a career, but could save it
  • Be vigilant for unhealthy coping responses such as alcohol or drug abuse (or suicidal gestures)
  • Encourage the person to seek appropriate care (doctor, chaplain, life skills adviser)
  • Use the Leader's Guide for Managing Personnel in Distress online at
-- From the Leader's Guide for
Managing Personnel in Distress