Anxiety, Panic Disorder and Social Phobia

Anxiety Disorders are one of the most prevalent mental health issues for which people seek treatment. Most people, at some point, struggle with symptoms of anxiety. There are five specific types of Anxiety Disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Each disorder has its own set of symptoms although there may be similarities. In general, anxiety activates the sympathetic nervous system which may cause both psychological and physical symptoms listed below.

Anxiety

Psychological symptoms may include:

Physical Symptoms may include:

Anxiety Disorders are very treatable. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Based Therapy are some of the most effective approaches to reducing anxiety symptoms.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will help with uncovering the fear and worry based beliefs that lead to an increase in anxiety. Working on restructuring and challenging these beliefs will reduce the power these beliefs have on the person. Also, incorporating gradual exposure techniques to the feared physical symptoms and the feared situations and/ or stimuli will increase the person’s sense on being able to tolerate the anxiety symptoms, cope with the situation and eventually reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Furthur Reading:

National Institute of Mental Health

Anxiety Disorders Association of America

How to Stop Worrying

Anxiety

Mastery of Anxiety and Panic Workbook (Treatments that Work) By: David H. Barlow & Michelle G. Craske

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers By: Robert M. Sapolsky

Full Catastrophe Living By: Jon Kabat-Zinn PHD

Last updated: June 15, 2010

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