Anxiety disorders

There are many types of anxiety disorders

Specific phobias

A specific phobia is characterized by a very intense, irrational fear. A fear becomes a phobia when a person suffers from severe distress and fear interferes with their daily activities. Here are some examples:

  • animal type (dogs, cats, snakes, spiders, etc.)
  • environment type (water, heights, thunderstorm)
  • blood and injections type (needles and surgery interventions)
  • situational (bridges, tunnels, car driving, enclosed space
  • other phenomena (fear of vomiting)

Fear is a normal reaction, but it becomes a problem when it interferes with our daily life.

Social anxiety of fear of public speaking

Social anxiety is related to situations where our performance is evaluated. People who suffer from social anxiety are constantly afraid of being judged negatively, ridiculed or rejected by others. They often also have difficulty in maintaining direct eye contact with others.

Some people are afraid of public speaking, oral presentations, meetings or speeches. In these situations, the individual feels unpleasant sensations such as shaking, blushing, stammering, etc. in front of a group.

Panic disorder with agoraphobia (PDA)

Panic disorder is characterized by the presence of intense physical sensations (e.g. palpitations, chest pain, trembling, sweating, etc.), also called spontaneous panic attacks, which occur rapidly  and for no apparent reason. Fear is usually associated with sensations of imminent catastrophe (fear of dying, losing control, fainting, etc.).

A person suffering from panic attacks often tends to fear and avoid places or situations for fear of having a panic attack (also called agoraphobia).

Women are twice more likely to be affected then men and up to 3.5% of the population suffers from PDA at some point in their life.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

People suffering from this disorder chronically worry about several things such as family, children, money, health, the future, work, etc. They worry constantly have difficulty in mastering their worries and stopping thinking about them. They keep going over negative scenarios and may become agitated, irritable and tense.

Research shows that these people are intolerant to uncertainty, like the possibility of being late at an appointment, have a car accident, etc.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is defined by the presence of intrusive and obsessive thoughts that violates a person’s values (e.g. thought of hurting someone when you don’t really want to hurt anyone) and/or compulsive behaviors or repetitive mental acts which reduce the anxiety related to the obsession (e.g. cleaning the house for hours, checking several times whether the burners on the stove are turned off, excessive hand-washing).

Most common themes of obsessive thoughts are contamination (catching or spreading germs), doubts about common actions (locking the door), religion (having committed a sin), the fear of being violent toward someone (pushing a person in front of a car), etc..

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs after a tragic event where a person’s life was in danger, or after witnessing a catastrophic situation. Such events may be, for example, a physical or sexual assault, an automobile accident, a natural catastrophe, etc.

The person will tend to relive the event frequently (flashbacks), have recurring nightmares and feel in a state of constant vigilance (for example, easily startled, irritability, physical tension, etc.) and avoid situations that are reminders of the traumatic event.

Are you suffering from one of these anxiety disorders?

In Virtuo offers psychological interventions to treat these mental health issues. See our services or contact us for more information.

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