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What Is An Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by high levels of worry and anxiety. It exists on a spectrum and can be caused by family history, trauma, health issues or substance abuse. It may even occur as a result of another mental illness like depression or a personality disorder.

The most common types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Generalized-anxiety disorder (GAD)

    Generalized-anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder where a person has feelings of anxiety through the day which starts to disrupt their daily life and functioning. They may worry about a variety of topics, situations or activities and experience physical symptoms of anxiety as well like restlessness, muscle tension or difficulty with sleep.

  • Panic disorders

    Panic disorders are conditions in which a person experiences unexplained and frequent panic attacks. Prolonged suffering can lead to agoraphobia where a person becomes afraid of places and situations that caused them a panic attack. This leads them to stop going out altogether.

  • Social anxiety

    Social anxiety is when a person experiences a feeling of anxiety when they are interacting with another person due to the fear of being judged, embarrassed, humiliated or rejected. The interactions need not be face-to-face or even significant—a person may get very anxious ordering food over the telephone or just buying groceries.

  • Phobias

    Phobias are disorders where a person has an extreme fear of a certain object or situation. A common phobia is that of needles, flying or heights.