Anxiety Disorder

What is Anxiety?


The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 13 people globally suffer from anxiety. The WHO reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide with specific phobia, major depressive disorder and social phobia being the most common anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is a natural human reaction to stressful situations, but becomes a condition when it frequently occurs without a trigger. Anxiety disorders are different since they are a group of mental illnesses and the distress they cause can keep you from carrying on with our life normally.


Type of Anxiety

Anxiety disorders can be classified into six main types such as below:

  1. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); This is a chronic disorder involving excessive, long-lasting anxiety and worries about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations. It is the most common anxiety disorder. 
  2. Panic disorder; Brief or sudden attacks of intense terror and apprehension characterize panic disorder. These attacks can lead to shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and breathing difficulties. 
  3. Social anxiety disorder; This is a fear of being negatively judged by others in social situations or a fear of public embarrassment. This includes a range of feelings, such as stage fright, a fear of intimacy and a fear of humiliation. This disorder can cause people to avoid public situations 
  4. Phobia; This is an irrational fear and avoidance of an object or situation. Phobias differ from other anxiety disorders, as they relate to a specific cause.
  5. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) ;This is an anxiety disorder characterized by thoughts or actions that are repetitive, distressing, and intrusive. 
  6. Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ;This is anxiety that results from previous trauma such as military combat, sexual assault, a hostage situation, or a serious accident.

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