Anxiety disorders (1)


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Anxiety disorders (1)

  1. 1. Anxiety Disorders What is an anxiety disorder? We all feel anxious from time to time however, for some people, these anxious feelings are overwhelming and cannot be brought under control easily. An anxiety disorder is more than just feeling stressed – it’s a serious condition that makes it hard for the person to cope from day to day. How common are anxiety disorders? Anxiety disorders are very common. One in four people will experience an anxiety disorder at some stage in their lives. Types of anxiety disorders There is a range of anxiety disorders. The six most common disorders are: 1. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which involves the person feeling anxious and worried on most days over six months or more. 2. Specific Phobia: When a person has a Specific Phobia, he/she feels very fearful about a particular object or situation. As a result, people may go to great lengths to avoid these objects/situations, making it difficult for them to go about their daily life. Examples include fear of having an injection or travelling on a plane. 3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): People with OCD have ongoing unwanted/intrusive thoughts and fears (obsessions) which cause anxiety. These obsessions are relieved by carrying out certain behaviours or rituals (compulsions). For example, a fear of germs and contamination (obsession) can lead to constant washing of hands and clothes (compulsion). beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636
  2. 2. Anxiety Disorders 4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may occur any time from one month after a person experiences a traumatic event (e.g. war, assault, accident). The symptoms can include difficulty relaxing, upsetting dreams or flashbacks of the incident, and the avoidance of anything related to the event. 5. Panic Disorder: A person with Panic Disorder has panic attacks, which are intense feelings of anxiety. These feelings are overwhelming and cannot be brought under control easily. Sometimes people experiencing a panic attack will think they are having a heart attack or are about to die. 6. Social Phobia: A person with Social Phobia has an intense fear of criticism, being embarrassed or humiliated, even in everyday situations (e.g. eating in public, public speaking, being assertive or making small talk). Anxiety disorders are common, but the sooner you get help, the sooner you can learn to control these conditions, so they don’t control you. For more information about anxiety disorders, symptom checklists, effective treatments and where to get help, visit or or call the beyondblue info line on 1300 22 4636. © beyondblue: the national depression initiative, 2009. 05/09 beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636