Anxiety disorders

 

There are several types of anxiety disorders (AD)

  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Specific phobia
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia: fear of particular environments.
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Substance induced anxiety disorder

But generally, they come under 3 categories:

 

GAD (self generated):

There are two main criteria for generalised anxiety disorder: firstly, excessive anxiety and worry needs to be happening most days for at least 6 months. The anxiety and worry are associated with three (or more) of the following six symptoms: restlessness/ feeling keyed up or on edge; being easily fatigued; difficulty concentrating or mind going blank; irritability; muscle tension and sleep disturbance.

 

Specific phobias (externally triggered anxieties):

There are two main criteria for this type of anxiety: fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g. flying; heights; spiders); additionally, the phobic object or situation always provokes immediate fear or anxiety.

 

Panic Disorders (internally-triggered anxieties):

Panic disorder involves recurrent unexpected panic attacks – an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort, that reaches a peak within minutes, some symptoms include:

    • Palpitations
    • Sweating, trembling or shaking
    • Chest pain
    • Nausea
    • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
    • Fear of dying

 

Key Terms

Anxiety – a mental state characterised by worry, concern or nervousness, usually regarding an upcoming task, or uncertain event.

Palpitations – rapid, irregular heartbeat, often caused by agitation, stress or anxiety, or because of too much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol

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