5 major anxiety disorders you need to be aware of



Anxiety disorders are different from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and often involve excessive fear or anxiety.

They are the most common mental disorders and affect nearly 30 percent of adults at some point in their lives.

However, once properly diagnosed, they are treatable and there are a wide range of treatments available so that those suffering are able to live happy and productive lives.

These disorders can cause people into try to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms and as a result their careers, education and family life can be compromised.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder.

Here are the 5 major anxiety disorder you need to know and may recognise in yourself or in loved ones.

1. Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

2. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.

3. Panic disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.

4. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

5. Social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)

Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.