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Anxiety Disorders

The Anxiety Disorders are conditions that have forms of anxiety as their main symptoms. Although all people feel anxious from time to time, in these disorders the anxiety becomes severe and persistent to the point of causing significant distress or impairing a person's ability to function in their life roles.

It is estimated that about 1 in every 5 individuals in the general population will experience an Anxiety Disorder at some point in their lives, making these conditions among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders [ref]. Half of these cases will be Specific Phobias, and the rest will involve the various other Anxiety Disorders listed below [ref]. It is also very common for people with Anxiety Disorders to experience other psychiatric conditions as well, especially Depression.

The Anxiety Disorders include the following conditions:

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This involves having constant, varied and excessive worries that are difficult to control.

    Panic Disorder: This involves experiencing recurrent Panic Attacks, and can also involve Agoraphobia, which is the fear of being in situations where one feels that it would be difficult to escape or to get help.

    Social Phobia: This involves the fear of being in social situations, such as having conversations with strangers, mingling at parties, or speaking during work meetings. These individuals tend to feel very self-conscious and to fear that they will be judged or embarrassed in these social situations.

    Specific Phobia: This involves having an intense fear of a particular thing or situation, such as a fear of a certain kind of animal, or a fear of flying.

    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This involves having experienced a highly traumatic event, and thereafter feeling a lot of distress over this event and living in fear of it recurring.

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): As the name implies, this condition involves having ongoing obsessions and compulsions that are difficult to control and that can cause a lot of anxiety.

    Separation Anxiety Disorder: This condition occurs mainly in children, and involves experiencing intense anxiety when away from one's parent(s).