How do we recognise anxiety disorders?

There are several groups included in the anxiety disorder spectrum such as Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), Specific Phobias, Social anxiety disorder, Panic disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

For people who have an anxiety disorder, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be disabling in both private and work life.

To get a better understanding of the single disorders, here a short explanation for each:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): You feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.

Specific Phobias: You feel intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear goes beyond what’s appropriate and may cause you to avoid ordinary situations.

Social anxiety disorder: You experience extreme fear or anxiety triggered by social situations (such as parties, workplaces, or any situation in which you have to talk to another person). You fixate about others judging you or on being embarrassed or ridiculed.

Panic disorder: You have regular or frequent panic attacks without a clear cause or trigger. During a panic attack, you may also sweat, have chest pain, and feel heart palpitations.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): After going through something you found traumatic PTSD can cause flashbacks or nightmares which can feel like you’re re-living all the fear and anxiety you experienced during the actual event (often developed by veterans).

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): You are often riddled with persistent and recurrent impulses, thoughts and images that are unwanted.

Besides that, all anxiety disorders share some general symptoms:

  • Panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Not being able to stay calm and still
  • Cold, sweaty, numb hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Tense muscles