What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is very common—in fact, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect 40 million U.S. adults every year. Yet many people don’t have a strong understanding of anxiety and may not realize that it can take many forms. Here are some of the most common forms it can take:
- Generalized anxiety disorder – Individuals with generalized anxiety disorder worry excessively about everyday issues (for example, health, family, work, and money) on most days for at least six months.
- Panic disorder – This condition causes people to experience recurrent panic attacks, which are often accompanied by physical symptoms like chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, and sweating. Panic attacks may also cause someone to feel like they’re dying or fear that they’re going crazy.
- Separation anxiety disorder – Separation anxiety disorder causes someone to fear being separated from a person that’s close to them. This condition is more common in children but may also affect teenagers and adults.
- Social anxiety disorder – While it’s common for people to feel shy, individuals with social anxiety disorder experience intense fears about social interactions. For example, they may worry that they’ll embarrass themselves or that others will judge them.
- Agoraphobia – People with with heightened fear leaving environments that they consider safe (for example, their home), to the point that it disrupts their normal routine. They may fear that they won’t be able to escape a situation or that help might not be available to them.
- Mixed anxiety and depression-a significant number of people with heightened anxiety have features of persistent depression and depression.
- Panic Disorder-intense fear and somatic reactions can significantly impair quality of life.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder– OCD involves presence of intrusive thoughts, images, and urges (obsessions);repeated behaviors designed to prevent harm or reduce anxiety (compulsions); avoidance; thought-action fusion.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-PTSD often co-occurs with other conditions such as depression or substance misuse.
Need Help Managing Anxiety?
If you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect that you have an anxiety disorder, I can help. Contact me today to schedule an appointment or free 15 minute consult. Look for more in my next blogs on the causes of anxiety and treatments and other ways to relieve anxiety.