Normally, anxiety is a healthy response to stress. Anxiety can help you overcome pressures at work, efficiently study for a test, focus on schoolwork, increase concentration and motivation, and help you triumph over difficult tasks. Anxiety can be a great coping mechanism; however, it can also be an immobilizing disorder. Therapies and treatments are effective and available now more than ever, and can help you live a dynamic, rewarding life.
Anxiety disorders vary from mild feelings of fear and apprehension to extreme and debilitating feelings of panic and dread. Often, these severe feelings of terror are irrational and groundless and can disrupt your daily responsibilities and diminish your quality of life. More than 40 million Americans are affected by anxiety disorders each year.
Types of anxiety disorders include:
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – chronic, unwarranted, and inflated worry accompanied by symptoms of muscle tension, sweating, trembling, sleeplessness, fatigue, headaches, and irritability.
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – uncontrollable, unwelcome, repetitive, and interfering thoughts and rituals that consume daily life.
• Panic Disorder – acute, rigorous, and unbearable assaults of terror that strike unexpectedly and swiftly, accompanied by symptoms of dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, pounding heart, nausea, shivering, numbness, chills, hot flashes, peculiar feelings of unreality, and a fear of dying.
• Phobias – (e.g. agoraphobia and social phobia) illogical fears of certain things or situations that can put unreasonable limits on life and set off feelings of extreme anxiety accompanied by symptoms of trembling, sweating, and pounding heart, as well as, panic attacks.
• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – feelings of intense anxiety that stem from living through a traumatic event such as rape, war, abuse, natural disasters, kidnappings, hostage situations, car accidents, and plane crashes. Symptoms include: flashbacks, emotional deadness, nightmares, depression, insomnia, exhaustion, inability to concentrate, panic attacks, and being easily distracted, startled, and angered. Often, people suffering from PTSD have trouble holding a job, keeping relationships, and carrying out daily responsibilities.
Keywords: anxiety disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), therapy, treatment, health care needs, psychologist, help
An overview of generalized anxiety disorder
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
What causes panic disorder?
What are you afraid of?