Anxiety

There are several types of anxiety disorders: Agoraphobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder including Panic Attacks, Selective Mutism, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobias, and Social Anxiety Disorder.

The manifestations of anxiety disorders vary greatly from one person to the next, but typically center around feelings of irrational fear, worry or tension. These thoughts are overwhelming and persist over a significant period of time. Anxiety that is situational and triggered by specific life events is not the same thing as an anxiety disorder, which may last for months or years.

The impact is not just mental and emotional. People who are suffering from an anxiety or panic attack will exhibit physical symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, trembling, dizziness and sweating. This combination can be very stressful and may cause the individual to avoid social situations for fear of having an attack in public.

If this describes you or someone you know, you are not alone. About 18% of Americans aged 18 or older suffer from some form of anxiety disorder in a given year, with women about 60% more likely to suffer from anxiety disorder than men.*

Treatments for anxiety disorders include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. Two types of medications often used are anti-depressants, which include SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) like ProzacTM, LexaproTM and PaxilTM, or benzodiazepines, such as KlonopinTM or XanaxTM. Each type of medication should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision, particularly because benzodiazepines can be extremely addictive if misused and are not intended for long term usage/treatment.

Learn more on WebPsychology with tests, resources and additional information on anxiety and panic disorders.

* NIMH: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

The above summary by WebPsychology.