‘The Anxiety Disorders’

This blog post is the fifth in a series of posts that are excerpts from my full length published article, ‘Five Simple Steps To Managing Anxiety’ available for immediate download from my website by this link: http://www.glennburdick.com/anxiety_help.htm

The ‘Anxiety Disorders’

For the record, there are officially seven main types of anxiety disorder, and as you’ll see, we have so far addressed elements that are common to all of them, and the general dynamics of the first four: Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, and Agoraphobia.

All of these are considered anxiety ‘disorders’ because there is no current life-threatening situation present when we experience the fear/anxiety. Nonetheless, it feels very much like there is, and therefore we engage in efforts to escape or avoid the feared situation, often disrupting the flow of our lives in a significant way.

Can you find yourself in these descriptions somewhere? Here is the official list:

  • Panic Disorder: characterized by sudden episodes of acute apprehension or intense fear that occurs ‘out of the blue’ without any apparent cause. Symptoms may include: shortness of breath or a feeling of being smothered; heart palpitations; dizziness, unsteadiness, or faintness; trembling or shaking; choking; sweating; nausea or abdominal distress; feeling of unreality; numbness or tingling in hands ad feet’; hot and cold flashes; chest pain or discomfort; fears of going crazy or losing control.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: this is pretty much constant anxiety that is unaccompanied by panic, phobias or obsessions. Fears may relate to losing control, failure, rejection or abandonment, death and disease, going crazy.
  • Social Phobia: this involves fear or embarrassment or humiliation in situations where you are exposed to the scrutiny of others or must perform in some way. The fear is so strong that individuals typically avoid the situation altogether.
  • Agoraphobia: the word itself means fear of open spaces, but it pretty much boils down to fear of having a panic attack in situations where escape might be difficult, such as in a store. Fear of embarrassment plays a role, as in what other people will think of you if you are seen having a panic
  • Simple Phobia: this involves a strong fear and avoidance of a particular situation or object. It doesn’t involve fear of panic attacks or fear of being embarrassed or humiliated. Some such fears include fear of particular animals, heights, enclosed places like elevators or airplanes, fear of dentist or doctors’ offices, fear of thunder or lightning, fear of injury or illness.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: obsessions involve recurring ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that seem nonsensical but intrude in your mind on a pretty continuous basis. Compulsions are behaviors or rituals performed in an attempt to rid you of the anxiety brought up by the obsessions.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: this is brought on after exposure to severe trauma that produces intense fear, terror, and feelings of helplessness, such as experienced in a car crash or in wartime. These symptoms can persist for years, and are typically, triggered by memories of the past situation arising in waking consciousness or in dreams.

Additional resources on anxiety & panic disorder:

http://www.adaa.org/AboutADAA/PressRoom/Stats&Facts.asp

Next post in this series: “The How To Of Anxiety Self-Management

(photo credit: LunaDiRimmel)

Be Sociable, Share!

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

CommentLuv badge