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Anxiety and Panic

Below you can read about the different classifications of anxiety.

If you are dealing with any of these, get in touch with us at the National Counseling Center.    See below:

Anxiety

Anxiety is basically excessive worry or fear. It can manifest itself is different form such as: acute stress disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder OCD, panic attack, post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD, social phobia, or a specific phobia.

Acute Stress Disorder – The person is exposed to a traumatic event where he felt a threat  of death or serious injury to others or to himself and there is a sense of intense fear, helplessness, or horror. He then experiences the following: A numbing effect where he lacks emotional responsiveness, “tuning out” sort of speak, or “being in a daze.” Reexperiences the event through recurrent images, thoughts, dreams, flashbacks, etc. Avoids places, people, or things that remind him of the event. Has difficulty sleeping, has poor concentration, is irritable, hypervigilant, and is startled easily. These occur within 4 weeks of the event and last from 2 days to 4 weeks.

Agoraphobia – Excessive anxiety, worry, or fear  about being in places or situations from which escape may be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help may not be available in the event of having an unexpected Panic Attack or panic-like symptoms. This anxiety can be from being outside the home alone, being in a crowd or standing in a line, being on a bridge, and traveling in a bus, train, or car.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Excessive anxiety and worry about a number or events or activities such as work or school performance for the past 6 months. The person finds it difficult to control the worry. Anxiety symptoms include: restlessness or feeling on edge, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty falling at sleep or staying at sleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep. The anxiety causes difficulty in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – When a person experiences this type of anxiety he has persistent thoughts, impulses, or images experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and causes marked anxiety or distress. The worry is not simply excessive worries about real-life problems. The person attempts to ignore or neutralize them with some other thought or action. The person recognizes that these thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind. Compulsions  are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person feels driven to perform in response to the obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly aimed at reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation. These however are not connected in a realistic way. The person recognizes that the obsessions or compulsions are not reasonable. The obsessions or compulsions take more time than 1 hour a day and significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine.

Panic Attack – This is s period of intense fear or discomfort in which it can include some of the following, develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes: palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, sensations of shortness of breath, feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, feeling dizzy or light headed, feeling detached from oneself, fear of losing control or going crazy, fear of dying, numbness or tingling or chills.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder – In this form of anxiety, the person has been exposed to a traumatic event involving actual or threatened death, or serious injury to himself or others. He responds with intense fear, helplessness, or horror. The person re-experiences the event through images, thoughts, perceptions, or dreams, acts or feels as if he is reliving the experience. This can be triggered by exposure to internal or external cues that resemble an aspect of the event. The person tries to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma, or tries to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma. He may not recall an important aspect of the trauma, or loses interest or participation in significant activities. He may feel detached from others, or has a restricted range of affect such as loving feelings, or a sense of a foreshortened future. The person can have difficulty falling or staying at sleep, be irritable, have difficulty concentrating, be hypervigilant, or have an exaggerated startled response. This has been going on more than 1 month and causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) – A marked and persistent fear of one or more social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possible scrutiny by others. The individual fears that he or she will act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing. When exposed to the feared social situation almost invariably provokes anxiety, which may take the form of a situationally bound Panic Attack. The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable. He either avoids the situation or endures with intense anxiety or distress. This interferes significantly with the person’s normal routine, work, or social activities or relationships.

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