Anxiety Disorders – A Gripping Feeling of Fear and Tension

     Anxiety disorders are characterized by feelings of anxiety or behaviours that are an attempt to prevent further anxiety. Anxiety can be characterized by intense fear and tension, the avoidance of certain situations that may produce anxiety, and physical responses to the anxiety such as increased blood pressure and heart rate.

a) Panic Disorders: A person with panic disorder experiences panic attacks – the sudden and unexpected onset of severe anxiety. These panic attacks become intensely feared by the individual, as they do not wish to experience them again however they never know exactly when they will have another one. Panic attacks are accompanied by dizziness, trembling, shortness of breath and the impending feeling that catastrophe, loss of control and even death are possible. Often, individuals become so scared of having panic attacks that they will not leave their home in fear that something will trigger another attack. This fear of leaving ones home is called agoraphobia.

b) Generalized Anxiety Disorder: People who experience generalized anxiety disorder are in a chronic state of excessive and uncontrollable worry about important issues in their lives. Generalized anxiety disorder tends to follow stressful life events.

c) Phobias: A person with a phobia intensely fears some object or situation. They will try to avoid this thing at all costs. A specific phobia occurs when someone is fearful of a particular object (i.e., a mouse) or situation (i.e., a closed space). Social phobias include a fear of the disapproval of others and of embarrassment and humiliation, and are triggered by social situations.

d) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: An individual bothered by Obsessive compulsive disorder is bothered by recurring and disturbing thoughts (obsessions) and/or actions (compulsions). They seem unable to control these thoughts and obsessions, and must perform them in order to feel “right.”

e) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: PTSD is a severe reaction that includes intense fear, helplessness or horror, to traumatic events that may have posed mortal danger to a person. These events include disaster, assault, and combat. A victim will typically experience an event for long periods of time, show a lack of interest in their surroundings, develop physical symptoms and may suffer from depression, anxiety and guilt.

Related Links

Abnormal Psychology
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