Florida Public Employees
April 4, 2014
There isn’t just one shade of anxiety. The bad thing about it is that people who suffer from anxiety usually experience symptoms of one or more types of the disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
From time to time, a small level of anxiety can actually help a person. It can push them to be alert and stay focused on a single task. Those who have GAD, however, feel worried and anxious more often than not. Even if there’s no rational reason to worry about something, it can be the center of an anxiety attack. If this kind of thinking persists for at least six months, then it’s likely that someone has GAD.
Being the focus of another person’s attention can make someone feel severely anxious. For those with social phobia, even the act of going to the movies alone, eating in a restaurant alone, or making small talk with coworkers is intimidating. They have a fear of being embarrassed or criticized so they avoid being around other people.
It’s completely rational to fear dangerous animal, situations, and the like. Feeling worried or afraid about facing big dogs or having to travel by plane isn’t an uncommon reaction. Being worried about personal safety is normal. However, when someone’s panic is out of proportion to the threat that’s posed, then this may point to a specific phobia.
Almost half of the US population will go through a panic attack at least once in their life. When someone has a panic attack, they experience an overwhelming fear or panic. Other high anxiety symptoms of a panic attack include an increased heart rate, dizziness, and chest pain. Most people even mistake it for a heart attack. When someone experiences recurring panic attacks for more than a month, that person can be said to have a panic disorder.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This type of disorder usually occurs when someone goes through a particularly traumatic event. Whether they experienced something that threatened their safety or that of the people around them, this may lead them to have periods of intense helplessness or fear. People who suffer from PTSD usually have flashbacks of the event and have difficulty relaxing.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Anxious thoughts about whether your front door is locked or whether you left the stove on can be helpful. But when a thought recurs and becomes obsessive, it might start an unhealthy behavior that might hinder normal functioning. Repeated checking or other rituals like constantly washing hands or checking locks can disrupt daily life. Those who suffer from OCD usually don’t know what to do for anxiety leading to this disorder and they require the help of a professional.
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