Have you ever suffered from excessive nervousness, fear or worrying? Do you sometimes experience chest pains, headaches, sweating, or gastrointestinal problems? You may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety. The most common anxiety disorders include specific phobias and generalized anxiety disorder. Social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post- traumatic stress disorder PTSD are less common.
The Panic Attacks are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance e. The Panic Attacks are not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as Social Phobia e. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Agoraphobia Agoraphobia invoves anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing or in which help may not be available in the event of having an unexpected or situationally predisposed Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms. Agoraphobic fears typically involve characteristic clusters of situations that include being outside the home alone; being in a crowd or standing in a line; being on a bridge; and traveling in a bus, train, or automobile.
As discussed throughout this website, anxiety is useful in certain situations, some of the time. But how do you know when the signs of anxiety you experience might be significant enough to qualify for an anxiety disorder? An appointment with your family physician or a trained mental health professional is a good first step.
Early humans needed the fast, powerful responses that fear causes, as they were often in situations of physical danger; however, we no longer face the same threats in modern-day living. Despite this, our minds and bodies still work in the same way as our early ancestors, and we have the same reactions to our modern worries about bills, travel and social situations. Instead of alerting you to a danger and preparing you to respond to it, your fear or anxiety can kick in for any perceived threat, which could be imaginary or minor.