Anxiety Disorders

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Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses. Symptoms of anxiety disorders include worrying, avoidance, panic attacks, and fear. People with anxiety sometimes have trouble going to busy places. They may also feel stress that something bad is going to happen even though things seem okay. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition. Those with anxiety can also have depression. People with anxiety can get better by taking medicine and/or getting therapy. Treatment usually helps people with anxiety. They can sometimes learn to beat the anxiety entirely!

Phobias are actually the most common type of anxiety that people may have. The most common phobias are called a situational type. This is where people have fears in specific places or situations. For instance, being fearful in airplanes, tunnels or elevators. Other phobias involve the natural environment. Some examples include, heights, water, storms, injuries, and animals. Some people get panic attacks when they are exposed to their phobia. Panic attacks include having trouble breathing and shaking. People with phobias may also get extra worries if they know they are going near their trigger. Triggers are the things they are afraid of. People with phobias usually know that their fear is beyond what is normal. Unfortunately, they still can’t control it. People with phobias do better with treatment. They usually get therapy and medications until they beat their fear. Phobias can be cured!

Social Anxiety Disorder:

Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also called social phobia, is a big fear of social situations (being in groups of people, parties, etc.). SAD may be as common as phobias. People with SAD fear that they will be judged by others for how they act in public places. People with SAD usually know that their fear is beyond what is normal. Unfortunately, they still can’t control it. People with SAD will often avoid social situations. They may miss out on attending parties or events that they would like to go to. SAD is a treatable condition and usually gets better with therapy and/or medication.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety. This anxiety may come after people experience traumatic events. This may include facing death or serious harm. It also includes when others do terrible things to a person. These terrible things include physical, emotional, and sexual harm. Some people experience PTSD after going to war. Others experience it from surviving scary things like tornadoes or earthquakes. People who experience PTSD have thoughts of the scary event pop into their minds long after it is over. They may also have nightmares about the event. They are often on edge or alerted. They may seem to daydream. This is a way to cope and avoid the scary event. Some people also avoid anything that may remind them of the event. For example, they might avoid going to the city where they were hurt. They may even avoid doing something fun because that’s when the bad thing happened. PTSD can last for years after a traumatic event. However, with treatment people can get better and beat PTSD!

Other Anxiety Disorders:

Other types of anxiety are:

Panic disorder is a form of anxiety where a person experiences panic attacks. These panic attacks often come on without any sign or warning. A panic attack is when someone gets anxiety so bad, they feel like they can't breathe, or they may pass out. These attacks are really scary for people who get them.

Agoraphobia is a fear of public spaces. This leads to people having trouble leaving their home. They also have trouble being around big groups of people.

Separation anxiety disorder usually happens in kids but can happen to adults too. This is when people are scared of being away from someone. This can include their parents, their spouse, their friends, or others.

Selective mutism is a rare disorder where a fear of certain places leads a child to not speak when they are there. This can lead to school problems.

Anxiety related to medical conditions. These happen when someone's body is sick, and it causes them to experience anxiety. This may happen with heart problems or brain problems. It can also happen with breathing issues or because the body’s chemicals are not at the right levels.

To learn more about anxiety disorders, check out the Anxiety and Depression Association of America's webpage