Anxiety disorders involve a much more intense response, last a lot longer after the stress situation concludes, and disrupts normal functioning. Anxiety disorders often lead to secondary issues such as low self-esteem, impaired relationships, substance abuse, and depression.
Six anxiety disorders are as follows:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Specific Phobia
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Despite their different forms, these disorders all are neurobiological in nature. Anxiety negatively impacts lives and involves persistent, intense, all-consuming fears or worries. People who suffer from anxiety look for emotional escape and avoidance, which leads them to become observers of their existence rather than participants in life. Specific phobias involve avoiding particular types of objects or situations. Heights, flying, driving, elevators, dental or medical procedures, and animals are all common objects or situations that can cause irrational fear and anxiety.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
(OCD) is characterized by obsessions and compulsions that interrupt normal routines, relationships, and daily functioning. Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, impulses, or ideas that intrude upon a person’s thinking and create increased worry or anxiety. Compulsions are responses to those obsessive thoughts and are done to relieve or prevent the anxiety. PTSD often develops after a traumatic event where a person’s safety or life is threatened or where he/she has witnessed a traumatic event. Even months after the event occurred, people experiencing PTSD have trouble coping with the disabling psychological symptoms created by the event. Social anxiety is one of the most common types of anxiety and is marked by an extreme fear of being embarrassed in a social setting. People are often concerned with being judged or humiliated publicly. The most common type of social anxiety disorder is performance anxiety, such as public speaking. Panic disorder seems to occur without any apparent cause and is characterized by an episode of apprehension and intense fear.
Often when someone first experiences Panic Disorder they believe that they are experiencing a heart attack! There physical response to fear is so intense that they experience chest pain, dizziness and shortness of breath. People who suffer from GAD worry excessively about everyday things, such as health issues, work, money, and relationship problems. Many people suffer in silence from this unseen monster and never seek treatment because they don’t believe their live can be any different. Despite the toll it takes on your life, the good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable!