21 March 2009

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a reaction to a tense situation that might be at home, work, play or at school. It's very normal to have anxiety now and then because it helps us cope with life. Sometimes anxiety grows into being excessive for the circumstance or perhaps an irrational reaction to everyday situations that shouldn't normally cause anxiety.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
This type is a constant anxiety, extreme worry or tension, even when there is little or nothing to cause it. There are also physical effects such as being tired all the time, headaches, muscle tension and aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, and hot flashes.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
Here there are recurrent, unwanted thoughts/obsessions or repetitive behaviors/compulsions. Rituals of repetitive handwashing, counting, checking, saving items, or cleaning are common. These tasks are done too much and/or unnecessarily.

Panic Disorder:
This is characterized by sudden, unexpected episodes of intense fear as well as physical symptoms like chest pain, fast beating heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, sweating, tingly or numb hands, flush or chill, or nausea.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
This can develop after exposure to something horrible and violent. Events that can trigger PTSD include being assaulted, disasters, accidents, or military combat. Victims as well as onlookers can be affected. People with PTSD keep re-experiencing thoughts and memories of the frightening ordeal and, to protect themselves, appear to be emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. They may have sleep problems, feel detached or numb in relationships, or be easily startled.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD):
This is the fear and, even physical symptoms, of meeting with other people whether it's at school, work, a party, get-together, or going out into crowds. There is intense anxiety in everyday social situations. SAD is sometimes limited to only one type of situation but, in its most severe form, a person suffers symptoms in all social situations. There is a feeling of being watched and judged, and a fear of being embarrassed or humiliated. Sufferers often feel the blushing, profuse sweating, shaking, nausea, and difficulty talking.

Please click HERE for ways to get help for an anxiety disorder.

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