What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety seems to be a normal reaction to the stress we encounter every day. In some cases, we can even say that it helps us. It can warn us of the dangers and, along with it, help us prepare and pay attention. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of irritability or anxiety. It involves extreme fear or anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders, affecting about 30% of adults in particular at some point in their lives. But anxiety disorders can be treated, and a number of effective treatment methods are available. Treatment helps most people live normal and productive lives.
Anxiety refers to anticipation of a future concern and is more associated with muscle tension and avoidance behavior.
Fear is an emotional response to an immediate threat and is more associated with a fight or flight reaction – either staying to fight or leaving to escape danger.
Anxiety disorders can cause people to try to avoid situations that trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, school work and personal relationships can be affected.
In general, for a person to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the fear or anxiety must:
- Be out of proportion to the situation or age inappropriate
- Hinder ability to function normally
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder.