What is Anxiety?Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person's ability to sleep or otherwise function. In simpler words, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.
Emotional symptoms of anxiety:
In addition to the primary symptoms of irrational and excessive fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms of anxiety include:
Anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety involves a wide range of physical symptoms.
Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
Anxiety disorders may be caused by environmental factors (stress from school, work, finances and so on), medical factors (illnesses, side effects of medication, and so on), genetics, brain chemistry, substance abuse, or a combination of these. It is most commonly triggered by the stress in our lives.
Anxiety disorders respond very well to treatment and often in a relatively short amount of time. The specific treatment approach depends on the type of anxiety disorder and its severity. But in general, most anxiety disorders are treated with behavioral therapy, medication, or some combination of the two.
Behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders
Cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are types of behavioral therapy, meaning they focus on behavior.
Anxiety medications can be habit forming and cause unwanted side effects, so be sure to research your options. But medication is most effective when combined with behavioral therapy and anxiety self-help strategies.
Types of anxiety:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
is anxiety that results from previous trauma for example trauma from military combat, rape, hostage situations, or a serious accident. PTSD often leads to flashbacks and behavioral changes in order to avoid certain stimuli.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
is characterized by high levels of anxiety when separated from a person or place that provides feelings of security or safety. This type of anxiety results in panic, and it is considered a disorder when the response is excessive or inappropriate.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
is an anxiety disorder characterized by thoughts or actions that are repetitive, distressing, and intrusive. OCD suffers normally know that their compulsions are unreasonable, but they serve to reduce their anxiety. OCD sufferers may obsessively clean personal items or hands or constantly check locks, stoves, or light switches.
Social Anxiety Disorder
is a type of social phobia characterized by a fear of being negatively judged by others around you. This includes feelings such as stage fright, a fear of intimacy, and a fear of humiliation. This disorder can cause people to avoid public situations and human contact to the point that normal life is rendered impossible.
is an irrational fear and avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias are different from generalized anxiety disorders because a phobia has a fear response identified with a specific cause. Stimuli for phobia may be as varied as situations, animals, or everyday objects.