This paper is going to be about anxiety disorders. I am going to explain what anxiety is and the different types of anxiety disorders. The types of anxiety I am going to talk about are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress, Panic Disorder and Social Phobia.
Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps some one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep focused on an important speech. In general, it helps some one cope. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it has become a disabling disorder.
Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. These disorders fill people’s lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
OCD afflicts about 3.3 million adult Americans. It strikes men and women in approximately equal numbers and usually first appears in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. One-third of adults with OCD report having experienced their first symptoms as children.
OCD involves anxious thoughts or rituals you feel you can’t control. With OCD you may be obsessed with germs or dirt, so you wash your hands over and over. You may be filled with doubt and feel the need to check things repeatedly. You may have frequent thoughts of violence, and fear that you will harm people close to you. You may spend long periods touching things or counting.
Most adults with this condition recognize that what they’re doing is senseless, but they can’t stop it. Some people, though, particularly children with OCD, may not realize that their behavior is out of the ordinary.
PTSD affects about 5.2 million adult Americans. Women are more likely than men to develop this disorder. It can occur at any age, including childhood, and there is some evidence that shows PTSD may run in families. The disorder is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more other anxiety disorders.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger this anxiety include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
People that suffer from PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of the frightening event and feel emotionally numb. This especially happens with people they were once close to. They may experience sleep problems, feel detached or numb, or be easily startled.
Panic disorder affects about 2.4 million adult Americans. It is twice as common in women as in men. It most often begins during late adolescence or early adulthood. Risk of developing panic disorder appears to be inherited. Not everyone who experiences panic attacks will develop panic disorder.
Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms. Such Symptoms may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
People with panic disorder have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. During a panic attack, most likely your heart will pound and you may feel sweaty, weak, faint, or dizzy. Your hands may tingle or feel numb, and you might feel flushed or chilled. You may have nausea, chest pain or smothering sensations, a sense of unreality, or fear of impending doom or loss of control.
Social phobia affects about 5.3 million adult Americans. Women and men are equally likely to develop social phobia. The disorder usually begins in childhood or early adolescence. There is some evidence that genetic factors are involved. Social phobia often co-occurs with other anxiety disorders or depression. Substance abuse or dependence may develop in individuals who attempt to “self-medicate” their social phobia by drinking or using drugs.
Social Phobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation. Examples are a fear of speaking in formal or informal places, eating or drinking in front of others, and in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms when they are around other people.
People with social phobia have an intense fear of being watched and judged by other people. They may be embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school, and other ordinary activities. Physical symptoms often accompany social phobia, such as blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking.