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What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Dr. Laura Tanzini

Did you know that anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations? It helps us stay alert to dangers. However, many people suffer from anxiety disorders that make them anxious, nervous and fearful of situations they have no control over. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues people live with every day. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), approximately 30 percent of people will experience abnormal anxiety during their adult lives. While some will cope well with medication and talk therapy, others need the professional intervention of an anxiety disorder treatment center to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives.

Treatment for anxiety disorders in adults isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. It can’t be this way given the fact that there a different types of disorders that fall under the umbrella term. Knowing the type of anxiety disorder you have, including its triggers can help you seek effective treatment. If you or someone you know has a history of anxiety, keep reading to learn more about the different disorders.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder worry about everything, and much of what they worry about most are trivial things like appointments and chores. They worry so much that it interferes with their daily lives. They can’t concentrate. They may have muscle tension or experience constant restlessness. It’s not uncommon for these individuals to suffer from severe fatigue because their excessive worrying keeps them up at night, especially during cold weather.

Panic Disorder

Have you ever had a panic attack? This is brought on by anxious feelings and often mimics a heart attack or an asthma attack. People who experience a panic attack for the first time often feel very scared and think they’re going to die. Luckily, the physical response to stress isn’t life-threatening. Even though panic disorders are associated with heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and chest pain—just to name a few of the physical symptoms—they’re manageable with behavioral therapy. The common age of onset for a panic attack is around 23, and having depression or PTSD puts you more at risk.


This type of anxiety centers around a specific object or action that causes excessive fear. For example, a person who has so much fear about driving over a bridge that they avoid them entirely and will cancel plans if it means driving on a bridge, could have a phobia disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder

People who’ve been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder don’t hate people. Instead, they feel uncomfortable around others in a social situation because they’re afraid they’ll say or do something that will embarrass them and cause rejection by others. Those with this anxiety disorder often do everything they can to avoid social situations.

Separation Anxiety

A person suffering from this disorder has an unhealthy fear of losing someone they love beyond what society deems acceptable. This anxiety causes them not to want to be away from the person and make choices based on these fears. For example, a teenager who fears losing their parents may avoid sleeping over at a friend’s house or even leaving the house without their parent.

Treating Anxiety Disorders

Having an anxiety disorder can feel isolating because people are often afraid to share their feelings with others for fear of ridicule. This can lead to even more anxiety. That’s why it’s important to seek help at treatment centers for anxiety disorders where the person feels understood. The best treatment for anxiety disorders includes a combination of behavior modification, talk therapy, group therapy, and medication.

The information in this post is a general overview of anxiety disorders. If you need help to deal with anxious thoughts that interfere with daily living, contact Kinder in the Keys, Inc., an anxiety disorders treatment center. Call them today at (800) 545-4046.