Understanding the Different Forms of Anxiety

An Introduction to Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety. The word is so overused in everyday conversation that the meaning behind the diagnosis has become lost. The majority of people experience extremely mild forms of anxiety a couple of times throughout their lives. This is usually expressed as "butterflies", rapid heart rate, sweating or mild headaches. Sadly, this has become the perception of anxiety as a whole by a large portion of the populous, clouding what people perceive anxiety to be. So what is anxiety? Here we will address three commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders and what is currently being done for treatment/management of them.

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder (General Anxiety)

Usually diagnosed when a more specific anxiety disorder cannot be determined

Criteria for this diagnosis are:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A specific anxiety disorder characterized by maladaptive thoughts and the actions associated with those thoughts

For diagnosis, obsessions are defined as:

Panic Disorder

This can be diagnosed either with or without concurrent agoraphobia

Other criteria for this disorder are:


Anxiety disorders are treated by a combination of medications - which are variable depending on exact symptomology - and individual and group therapies to be determined by the attending psychologist/psychiatrist.

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