Anxiety Issues and their Diagnosis
For Reference only-
There are seven main types of anxiety issues recognized by psychiatrists and psychotherapists.
Treatment of an anxiety issue can occur without diagnosis.
- Specific Phobias
An irrational overwhelming fear, of a specific object or situation such as: spiders; frogs; heights; pigeons, snakes, airplanes, thunder and lightening, dogs.
- Panic Disorder
To be classed as having this problem you need to have had more than one panic attack. This leads to worrying about further attacks, losing control and embarrassing yourself in front of people. It is accompanied by a heightened awareness of normal body sensation. Fluctuations in these sensations such as increased heart rate are misinterpreted as the onset of panic, which then creates panic.
Note- it is possible to have a singular panic attack and never experience another
Often accompanies panic disorder. It can lead to a fear of any situation in which a panic attack may occur. In the worst case scenario it can lead to a fear of being any place other then the home, and in some cases they do not even feel a sense of safety there.
Typical places of avoidance include:
- Motorway traffic jams
- Shopping queues
- Wide open spaces
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Typified by an almost constant feeling of anxiety/ worry. The most common of all anxiety issues worldwide. Note- worrying about real life concerns is normal and would not be classed as GAD.
Constant anxiety drains the body of energy and therefore tiredness, difficulty concentrating , irritability, fidgeting, as well as the inability to sleep peacefully are typical of GAD
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Generally caused by extreme trauma. Can have a delayed onset. Can result in flashbacks to traumatic incidents (re-experiencing), irritability, lack of ability to concentrate, poor sleep, heightened startle response, avoidance of certain situations, a sense of being numb or detached from life.
- Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD may be diagnosed if either obsessions or compulsions are present either by themselves or together
Obsessions are repetitive ideas that intrude into the mind, an example: intrusive images of harming someone the subject really cares for
Compulsions are the repetitive actions or mental strategies that are used to try to avoid a feeling of anxiety, an example being repetitive washing of the hands to eradicate any germs.
- Social Phobia
Often leads to the avoidance of any situation that subjects the person to public scrutiny and thus possible embarrassment/ humiliation. Typical examples of avoidance are:
- Answering the telephone
- Meeting new people
- Going to parties
- Writing cheques in public
- Public Speaking