Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million Americans age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
1. GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER (GAD)
GAD, is the most common type of anxiety. Characteristically, GAD consists of relentless, unspecified worry about everyday things. One may expect the worst to happen, believe this expectation to be true, and then act upon this belief, by avoiding whatever provokes the anxiety. Chronic worry can affect every aspect of life.
A phobia is an intense fear of something that does not pose a real or immediate danger. Common phobias include: spiders, snakes, thunderstorms, blood, and airplanes. The fear far exceeds the actual danger and people who struggle with this type of anxiety disorder often feel embarrassed, knowing that their fear is excessive.
3. SOCIAL ANXIETY
Social anxiety is an irrational fear of social situations where unfamiliar people or situations are likely to be encountered. People who battle with social anxiety feel extremely self-conscious and afraid of social situations. Even thinking about the situation may evoke extreme anxiety.
4. OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD)
OCD is characterized by recurring, persistent thoughts, images, and impulses. It is marked by repetitive behaviors, such as checking a certain number of times to make sure the stove is turned off or compulsively washing hands. Focusing on these actions deflects the anxiety provoking thoughts or images.
5. POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
PTSD can result from a natural disaster, a terrorist event, death of a loved one, or a violent personal assault. People who suffer from PTSD are more vulnerable to being affected by daily stress, resulting in a tendency to be short tempered or easily angered.
6. PANIC DISORDER
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling that something really bad is going to happen.
Agoraphobia is the fear of going out in public, a fear of open spaces, and/or the fear of being in unfamiliar places. Those who suffer with agoraphobia tend to become housebound. Agoraphobia can also result from a traumatic event outside of the home. Many people experience times when they feel vulnerable outside of their homes and then prefer to remain indoors.
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