Anxiety and Panic

These disorders come in many forms, like a panicked feeling in social situations or constant worrying about your health, your job, or your family.  

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Unnecessary fears about simple, everyday things, like money, health, family or work.  You expect the worst, even when there seems to be little to worry about.  It may be hard to control this kind of worry for months at time.  It can affect your sleep and concentration, and it may leave you feeling restless, tired and irritable.

Social Anxiety Disorder – Not simply shyness, you’re terrified of humiliating or embarrassing yourself in social situations.  It typically starts in your teen years, and it can make social, professional, and romantic life almost impossible.  You may feel powerless and ashamed.

Panic Disorder – A panic attack is a sudden rush of intense anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere. It can happen anytime, even while you’re asleep.  If you have them regularly and are very afraid of having another attack, you could have panic disorder.  It typically starts in early adulthood, and women get it as often as men. Many of the same symptoms that accompany general anxiety such as a racing heart or pain in our stomach happen with a panic attack.  But panic attacks are more intense, build quickly and then subside.  Other symptoms include trembling, feeling like you can’t breathe, being afraid you’re going to die, afraid that you’re going crazy.

Agoraphobia – In the past, this condition had been linked to panic disorder, but it’s now thought of as a separate disorder.  You may stay away from public places where it seems hard to “escape,” like sports stadiums, Walmart or a shopping mall.  In severe cases, it can be impossible for you to go outside your “safety zones” without serious anxiety.

Phobias – We all have things that scare us, like spiders, heights, elevators, or the dentist-but most people manage these fears.  When a specific fear causes so much anxiety that it affects your daily life, it becomes a phobia.

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