There are 14 major anxiety disorders and symptoms you need to know about that can impact your life and loved ones in a negative, destructive way. For example, most small children are afraid of the dark. If this childhood condition is not addressed properly, it could lead to a possible phobia. There are millions of adults today who are afraid of the dark and can’t sleep at night. They must wait until the sun rises before they can get any rest. However, if a child or even an adult is educated in this area and gain confidence, and realize that there’s nothing to fear, the problem is solved.
Anxiety can be described in various ways. It has many faces. Webster’s defines anxiety as distress or uneasiness of mind, caused by fear of danger or misfortune. Studies show that anxiety can also be an emotional response resulting from an overexposure to criticism, or judgment of others. Another source defines anxiety as a normal reaction to stress; it’s that innate force that helps us deal with tense situations, at home and at work; it provides the mechanism to keep us focused when engaged in a competitive event, it even has the capability of providing us with the drive to study hard for an important exam.
The bottom line is that anxiety helps us to cope with the situation. But the six-hundred thousand dollar question is “Do you really want to only cope?” I think not, because when anxiety becomes excessive and life’s everyday circumstances become not-so-everyday and begin to affect your mood, perception and ability to deal rationally with life’s situations, then, it can become a serious disabling disorder.
Medical research has shown that anxiety is associated with hypertension, also referred to as High Blood Pressure, as well as many other diseases. You see, anxiety has many faces. Although it is linked to hypertension, it also serves to protect you from real danger, as well as stimulate growth and change. It’s also a proven medical fact that some anxiety is normal. However, anxiety becomes inadequate when you constantly react to situations that do not pose a real threat.
Feelings of anxiety come in many forms, such as panic, fright, terror, alarm, anger, anguish, and dread, just to name a few. Physical complaints can include many things, such as dizziness, fatigue, racing heart rate, trembling, upset stomach, cold or clammy hands, rapid breathing, diarrhea, numbness, tingling, faintness, strain and flush.
Anxiety can strike like lightning, or roll like thunder. It can be marked by chronic worry and agitation. It can also be the natural fear that accompanies life’s challenges and minor difficulties such as losing your job, wrecking your car, or becoming seriously ill. The feelings and physical sensations of anxiety are the same whether it occurs spontaneously, or in direct response to a major threat.
The feelings of anxiety are caused by an overreaction in the first stage of the body’s stress response, commonly referred to as the alarm, the “fight or flight” reaction. Mild to moderate anxiety may be a bit more exaggerated and intense. However, there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you suffer from these feelings of inappropriate fears or persistent worrying, you are not alone. Don’t fret, it could happen to anyone. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer forever.
Here are some points of interest regarding anxiety you probably didn’t know:
• Anxiety in its various forms – fear, worry, muscle aches and pains, rapid shallow breathing, fatigue, heart palpitations, headaches – is one of the most common complaints heard by doctors. Anxiety can provoke or worsen alcoholism, overeating, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and many other medical problems.
• More than twice as many women suffer from anxiety as men. It is not known whether this is because women are more likely to be anxious, or because men are more likely to deny being afraid.
• Each year over 65 million Americans experience some symptom of anxiety of which thirty million have a full-blown disorder.
• One in every two people in the U.S. will experience mild to moderate anxiety for at least a two-week period during their lifetime; one in four people will suffer from an anxiety disorder.
• According to a recent poll, over 25% of the U.S. workforce suffers from anxiety and chronic stress.
• Despite the fact that more people will suffer from anxiety than any other mental health problem, less than 25% will receive adequate help. This means that some 18 million people will continue to suffer unnecessarily from a treatable and curable condition.
The Top 14 Destructive Anxiety Disorders and Symptoms
1. Anxiety Attacks: This person has a sudden feeling like they’re about to pass out, go crazy, die, or lose control. This type of disorder is called PD (Panic Disorder).
2. Compulsions: This type of person has the urge to perform certain rituals, such as counting things, washing repeatedly, praying, arranging things in a particular way, or repeating words silently. This type of disorder is called OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
3. Concerns About Your Appearance: This type of person feels convinced that there’s something abnormal or grotesque about their appearance, even though nobody else can see the defect. This type of disorder is called BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder).
4. Obsession: This type of person has upsetting thoughts that they can’t get rid of, such as fear of losing control and harming others, confessing to a crime they didn’t commit, or being contaminated by dirt or germs. This type of disorder is called OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
5. Chronic Worrying: This type of person constantly worries about their work, family, health, school, or finances. This type of disorder is called GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).
6. Performance Anxiety: Performing or competing in front of an audience would make this type of person anxious or nervous. This type of disorder is considered a form of SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder).
7. Test Anxiety: This type of person gets nervous and will freeze-up whenever they have to take a test. This type of disorder is considered a form of SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder).
8. Agoraphobia: This type of person is afraid something terrible might happen if they’re away from home alone. This type of disorder is called (Agoraphobia).9. Public Speaking Anxiety: Giving a talk in front of a group of people would make them feel anxious. This type of disorder is considered a form of SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder).
10. Fears and Phobias: This type of person has an intense fear of something specific, such as flying, driving, spiders, blood, heights, or getting trapped in small places. This type of disorder is called (Specific Phobia).
11. Health Concerns: This type of person often worry that they have a serious medical problem or disease, even though the doctor always reassures them that everything is fine. This type of disorder is called (Hypochondrias).
12. Shyness: This type of person often feels nervous or self-conscious around other people. This type of disorder is considered a form of SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder).
13. Shy Bladder Syndrome: This person feels anxious about having to use a public restroom. This type of disorder is considered a form of SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder).
14. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This type of person is plagued by upsetting memories of a traumatic event, such as death, violence, rape, serious injury or torture.
This list of anxiety disorders and symptoms was created by a committee of psychiatrists who get together from time to time and vote on the latest version of the diagnostic criteria. So, please be reminded that labeling these disorders does not place a person 100% in a particular disorder category. Many doctors feel that labeling the types of disorder is a bit arbitrary and confusing. In any case, this is the criterion that’s used industry wide.
Research has shown that anxiety is linked to a myriad of mental as well as physical conditions, some of which can prove fatal. Also, studies have proved that some anxiety is normal; it serves to protect us from real danger, as well as stimulate growth and change. In order to keep anxiety from escalating into a full blown anxiety attack, activities such as regular exercise, yoga, golf, and meditation are among the things that can provide an excellent platform for a relaxed mind.
If you just took out a few minutes every morning, when you first wake up, and meditate peace and tranquility, as opposed to negative events that may not even occur, you will take on a new life full of optimism instead of anxiousness, uncertainty and fear.
At the National Stress and Anxiety Prevention Center (NSAPC), we promote total health – body, mind and spirit. While we focus on the mental aspects of relieving stress, anxiety and depression, we must not forget that nothing is impossible for God. Remember that anything you do outside of your regular routine challenges your brain.
When you create a world of peace and tranquility instead of one filled with fear and chaos, anxiety has no entry points. Remember anxiety and tranquility cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
This article was written by Richard Wills, also known as Dr. Rich, CEO of the National Stress and Anxiety Prevention Center (NSAPC) and a member of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). He has written numerous articles and has helped 100’s of individuals defeat excessive stress, anxiety attacks and depression over the past 22 years. He is an expert and author of the breakthrough book Suffer No More – The Ultimate Guide to Free Yourself From Excessive Stress, Anxiety Attacks and Depression in 2½ Minutes which provides a strategic level of drug-free therapy for stress, anxiety and depression using biblical principles and medical scientific facts evolving from his personal, firsthand experience with what works and what doesn’t work.
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