Being anxious or worried is part of everyday life; anxiety can help us to be alert and ready for challenges.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders, women are more likely to develop anxiety than men. There are many forms of anxiety disorders, but the one thing they have in common is their impact on day-to-day activities.
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder that can affect the ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary tasks.
People with anxiety disorders may be unable to stop worrying about seemingly unimportant things, and they can perceive situations as much worse than they actually are. Anxiety interferes with the enjoyment of life and disrupts work, relationships, and self-perceptions.
Social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, means social anxiety affects your life and prevents you from participating in everyday social events in your personal or work life.
It is not uncommon to feel nervous in some social situations. For some people, having to do a presentation at work or host a function where they become the center of attention can cause acute and overwhelming anxiety. Others find that meeting new people or having to confront someone about an issue can be distressing.
Agoraphobia is often thought to mean that people are afraid of ‘open spaces’, but this is only half the story. Many people with panic disorder avoid situations because of their fears. This avoidance is known as agoraphobia.
Agoraphobia is linked to panic disorder and also belongs to a group of conditions called specific phobias. People with specific phobias might also practice avoidance in less noticeable ways like avoiding exercise or sex. Panic and related phobias like agoraphobia can seriously impede an individual’s ability to go to work or socialize with friends and family.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
We all have unwanted thoughts from time to time, but mostly we can push them aside and move on. However, for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, unwanted negative thoughts can be constant and can start to take control of their lives.
OCD usually develops in late childhood or early teenage years and without proper treatment can become a chronic condition. As the name suggests, there are 2 kinds of symptoms:
• obsessions – an unwanted thought, image or urge that repeatedly comes into the mind
• compulsions – repetitive behaviors or rituals, that are difficult or impossible to resist doing, which are carried out to reduce anxiety
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a treatable anxiety disorder, it happens when fear, anxiety, and memories of a traumatic event don’t go away. The feelings last for a long time and interfere with how people cope with everyday life.
PTSD can be a long-lasting and disabling condition. It can have a devastating impact on individuals, relationships, and families. It can also lead to other conditions such as depression or substance abuse.
Panic attack symptoms can strike at any time. They come on very rapidly and usually peak within a few minutes.
Panic attacks are very common, with up to 40% of people experiencing a panic attack at some stage in their life. During a manic episode, someone is overwhelmed and disabled. A panic episode leaves the person feeling temporarily exhausted and drained. While common and debilitating, panic attacks are distinct from but a feature of the panic disorder.