Anxiety is a normal human emotion and all of us experience the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety from time to time. However, anxiety can also become severe and interfere in our ability to cope with situations and can lead to avoidance behaviour. If anxiety and avoidance have become a problem for you we can assess your level of anxiety and identify if you have an anxiety disorder. The following is a description of the most common anxiety disorders that we treat.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a common anxiety disorder where the individual experiences uncontrollable worry. They often expect the worse and fear a catastrophe. Worry may interfere with sleep, performance and the ability to relax. This may be bought on by a build-up of stress or may be a life-long problem.
- Panic Disorder is present when an individual experiences multiple panic attacks. These are peaks in
anxiety when the individual feels like they may faint, have a heart attack or die. During an attack there may be palpitations, a feeling of choking, or being unable to breathe, dizziness or faintness and a range of other distressing symptoms. Panic attacks may appear out of the blue or they may be triggered.
- Agoraphobia can be present with or without panic attacks. The individual usually feels overwhelmed with anxiety when outside their comfort zone, which is usually home. This leads to significant avoidance behaviour.
- Social Phobia develops when an individual feels anxious in social situations due to fear about the impression they are making and fear of negative evaluation by others. Symptoms may include blushing, shaking, worrying, increased heart rate, sweating and avoidance of social situations.
- Specific Phobias such as the fear of flying, fear of heights and blood phobia may be a problem in that they interfere with everyday life.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is present when an individual experiences persistent intrusive unwanted thoughts and urges. The individual may feel urges to perform compulsions or rituals to rid these thoughts. Checking and handwashing are common rituals.