What is an Anxiety Disorder?
An anxiety disorder is a disorder in which a person’s level of fear escalates to an abnormally high level and does not seem rational in comparison to the situation. While everyone may experience slight anxiety at one time in life or another, those with anxiety disorders suffer from fear and worry at a level that interferes with every day life.
Anxious feelings are normal and even helpful at times when dealing with stressful events. It is only when these feelings affect your ability to build healthy relationships, attend social events and face the various challenges of life that treatment should be sought.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
Feelings of fright or worry are perhaps the most common symptoms of anxiety disorders. Other symptoms include:
- Feelings of uneasiness
- Poor concentration
- Pounding heartbeat
- Stomach sickness
- Shortness of breath
- Hot flashes, chills
5 Types of Anxiety Disorders
Over 13% of Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder every year. There are five different types of anxiety disorders. These include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This anxiety disorder occurs when someone constantly feels worried and suffers from exaggerated tension. Typically the sufferer does not even know the reason for these feelings. This disorder can be very disruptive to everyday life. The inability to relax and insomnia are common symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsiveness is a disorder of rituals and recurrent obsessive thoughts. Rituals can take hours to perform, causing a great disturbance in everyday life. Compulsive behaviors include frequent hand washing, counting, checking and arranging. Those with obsessive compulsive disorder feel obligated to perform these rituals in their desire to relieve anxiety. Unfortunately, performing these tasks only provides temporary relief.
- Panic Disorder (PD)
Panic disorder is a disorder in which a person experiences frequent bouts of intense fear along with sweating, a pounding heartbeat, dizziness and feelings of death. These panic attacks arrive unexpectedly and can last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. In some cases, people with this disorder avoid certain places and activities for fear of another panic attack. Severe avoidance of social interaction to the point of never leaving the house is characteristic of Agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder closely associated with panic disorder.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This type of a disorder occurs after some form of a traumatic experience. In serious cases of this disorder, recovery at PTSD treatment centers can be sought. Traumatic experiences include physical or sexual abuse, a car crash, a natural disaster, a deliberate disaster or military combat. Flashbacks, depression, frightening memories and spurts of violence are common in those with post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD treatment facilities are available for those with PTSD. Trauma treatment centers and depression treatment facilities are also available for this disorder’s effects.
- Social Phobia/ Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Someone with social anxiety is afraid being in social situations due to self-consciousness, fear of humiliation and severe anxiety. These situations include public speaking, eating with someone else present, attending parties and numerous other instances, each of these vary determining on the person.