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Anxiety Disorders

What's on this page

    It’s safe to assume that everyone experiences some form of anxiety in their lives, whether it’s prior to certain on-stage performances or in preparation for exams. However, it’s very important to be able to distinguish the difference between getting anxious occasionally over something like making a speech, and being afraid or uncertain on a daily basis about every little thing. More than a million adults in America suffer from anxiety-related problems, which means that anxiety is a common disorder.

    Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

    Although specific symptoms vary according to different types of anxiety disorders, the primary indication is usually excess worry over minute details in everyday life. Each type of anxiety disorder has different causes, symptoms and treatment options available. Therefore, it’s necessary to be able to identify the exact disorder you may be suffering from and get help accordingly.

    Common Anxiety Disorders Include:

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

    Those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder typically feel excessive and unrealistic worry about little things in their everyday life. Unfortunately, the amount of worrying they do is usually something they cannot control or turn off at will. A typical day for someone with general anxiety disorder can be filled with unnecessary concern and tension over issues such as family, health, money or work-related stresses, even though they may be completely unwarranted. In some cases, the mere thought of making it through the day has a tendency to generate anxiety among sufferers.

    In addition to feeling “on edge” most of the time, physical symptoms can also play a significant role for those with generalized anxiety disorder. Common physical symptoms related to generalized anxiety disorder include:

    • headaches
    • muscle tension
    • fatigue

    Most of the time, generalized anxiety disorder can be treated with medication or certain types of psychotherapy. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor before beginning any type of treatment plan.

    Panic Disorder

    Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder which usually involves panic attacks, where people experience episodes of extreme fear or anxiety that can occur randomly or be specifically triggered by certain events. These episodes can generally take place every now and then or on a more frequent basis and last anywhere between mere minutes to prolonged hours. Fortunately, most panic attack sufferers can get better with treatment. Options can include antidepressants, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy and certain types of stress-relieving activities.


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    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

    People with obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD typically suffer from performing certain tasks or rituals excessively without merit. Being able to carry out their obsessions and compulsions usually provide OCD sufferers with temporary relief from feeling anxiety. Some of the common things that most people with OCD obsess about include cleaning, showering, washing hands, turning things on and off etc. Those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder can also feel angry, stressed, worried, depressed, embarrassed or nervous.

    The exact causes for OCD have not been accurately identified or fully understood. However, some people tend to believe that obsessive compulsive disorder is a psychological disorder while others feel it is caused by abnormalities in the brain. Having OCD in no way makes you strange or abnormal; in fact genetic and hereditary factors have also been linked to this disorder. Medication, therapy, support groups and exercise are all ways in which OCD can be effectively managed.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    Unlike the anxiety disorders mentioned above, post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD specifically results from a frightening event that may have involved physical harm or the possibility of physical harm. A number of traumatic episodes can cause PTSD to occur, such as rape, child abuse, being involved in car accidents, plane crashes or natural disasters.

    Most people with post traumatic stress disorder may exhibit symptoms of becoming irritable, aggressive, and even violent. Having flashbacks and nightmares of the traumatic event(s) suffered is also common with post traumatic stress disorder. If you have never been able to talk about your PTSD, seeking treatment as soon as possible would be in your best interest. Professionals, such as licensed therapists and psychologists can be of great help. Joining a support group or engaging in activities that would allow you to relieve some tension can also be useful ways to deal with post traumatic stress disorder.