Anxiety Disorder - its cause & its treatment
There are five major anxiety disorders; you may experience one or more of these conditions simultaneously.
Social Anxiety & Phobias
Social anxiety and phobias are the most common of the symptoms. Social anxiety and agoraphobia are by far the most common. Social phobia restricts the sufferer by becoming apparent when interaction with other people or places is required; this can often result in a panic attack developing. Agoraphobia similarly restricts sufferers but is also evident at home when left alone or when asked to go somewhere without a person of trust.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Because your body and mind are affected directly by your environment, generalized anxiety disorders form when your anxiety levels, controlled by the Amygdala, become heightened. This usually happens as a result of constant stress or stressful life circumstances such as divorce or bereavement for example.
GAD can manifest itself in many ways dependent on your physical and mental makeup. Generally, GAD sufferers experience low grade, constant symptoms such as digestive upsets, dizziness, tiredness and insomnia, but sometimes more chronic symptoms may be apparent.
There are three types of panic attack:
Spontaneous panic attacks
These panic attacks are indescriminate and become apparent very quickly - sometimes within seconds of experiencing the first symptom.
Specific panic attacks
Are habitual in nature and occur as a result of being presented with a specific stressor.
Situational panic attacks
Situational panic attacks are confined to appearing in a very specific situation.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is the condition which arises from a sufferers confrontation with a potentially life threatening situation, be that life threatening to themselves or another person. Commonly the sufferer will complain of GAD or panic attacks and may develop some anxiety/depression-like symptoms.
Gulf War Syndrome and Shell Shock were the names given to the PTSD conditions experienced by war veterans after combat.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is the name given to the condition that causes the sufferer to gain an inappropriate level of obsession about an action, activity, person or object. Commonly, OCD manifests itself as repeated behaviours such as hand washing or checking, for example, that the gas has been turned off or that the door is locked.
OCD is very invasive and frustrating for the sufferer. They know that what they do and say is inappropriate but the fear of the consequences of not carrying out there rituals drives them to do it anyway.
The lines which seperate the five anxiety disorders are blurred, there is no set pattern to how they may manifest themselves in the sufferer.