A Is For Anxiety (Part 1)

An overview – In the last 10 years, I have seen an increase in the numbers of people (and the severity of their problems) with anxiety.  The statistics vary greatly and place anxiety disorders at between 19-40 million American adults. Anxiety can range from the expectable, will-end-soon apprehension about a test, a job interview, or medical test, to the very miserable, endless feeling of doom and dread that has no particular cause, to unexpected panic.  At its worst, anxiety affects your health and limits your lifestyle. If you have anxiety, you are certainly not alone.

There are different types of anxiety.  In psychology, we categorize anxiety problems by the symptoms.  We don’t categorize in order to label or pigeon-hole people, but so that we can figure out specific ways of treating the problem. Here are the main types that I see. 

                                                          Types of Anxiety

1. Generalized Anxiety – Anxiety can be free-floating, that is, ever present on some level, but not always high. 

2. Panic Disorder – Anxiety becomes panic attacks that leave people afraid of the next attack and of losing control.

3. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – Anxiety is shown as intrusive thoughts that produce uneasiness, worry, or apprehension.

4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Veterans and other who experience violent personal assaults such as war, rape, mugging, or domestic violence; terrorism; natural or human-caused disasters; and accidents experience this severe form of anxiety with a variety of symptoms.

5. Phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobia) – Anxiety is a fear of a specific object (snake) or situation (crowds, heights).

 In coming Friday posts, I will try to describe specific features and some ways of managing the different problems.

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