Anxiety is the second most common mental disorder in the United States and anxiety can affect children and teens as well as adults. Anxiety falls into several common forms including panic disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Anxiety is characterized by physiological signs such as heart palpitations and emotional symptoms such as tension and a gripping fear. Phobias are a type of anxiety that only occurs in certain situations such as a fear of flying. Other anxiety ailments like generalized anxiety disorder are a continual feeling of worry about everything.

Those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder find themselves worrying about everything and can't shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen to them. These feelings can go on from six months to many years without treatment. Psychological symptoms include being irritable and having trouble concentrating due to a lack of control of the thought process. This obsession with worrying often turns to physical ailments such as stress, fatigue, headaches, sweating, pounding heard, insomnia and muscle tension and aches.

Panic disorder is another type of anxiety that includes reoccurring panic attacks. Sufferers are so afraid of suffering another panic attack that it interferes with their normal functioning. Panic attacks are a time of intense fear that can resemble a heart attack. Pounding heart, sweating, shortness of breath, feelings of choking and chest pains are but a few of the symptoms. Ultimately there is a tremendous fear of dying and losing control.

Phobias are an anxiety disorder made up by an irrational fear that exaggerates the danger of an object or situation. This intense fear creates physical symptoms similar to a panic attack and a person will avoid the situation at all costs. Specific phobias include a fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of confinement, fear of blood, fear of water and fear of bugs, snakes and spiders. Such anxiety disorders are usually attributed to traumatic childhood and adult experiences. Agoraphobia is an anxiety which involves fear of being in public places. People who suffer from agoraphobia have a fear of having a panic attack or suffering from some physical ailment such as diarrhea or vomiting.

Obsessive-compulsive disorders are made up of constant obsessive thoughts and impulses to act on some senseless behavior or ritual such as hand washing, counting, putting things in order and checking things like door and window locks.

All of these anxiety disorders can be treated by medications, therapy or most likely a combination of both. If you or a loved one's life is being disrupted by anxiety, we encourage you to call National Referral for help today. The call is free and confidential.


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