Feeling anxious and under stress at times is normal. Anxious feelings are often brought about by daily stress such as driving in heavy traffic or important meetings. While this mild anxiety helps us stay alert and focused in challenging circumstances, anxiety disorders cause severe distress over a period of time and disrupt the lives of individuals. The intensity of the anxiety often makes it difficult to function normally on a daily basis. Anxiety disorders often surface in adolescence or early adulthood though they may begin at any time in ones life.

Types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder is a constant feeling that something bad is about to happen. There may be no readily identifiable reason for the anxiety but the fear is real and often interferes with the individual’s ability to function normally in their daily lives.
  • Panic Disorders are intense and unprovoked feelings of dread or terror. The exact cause is unknown and it usually appears during the teens or early adulthood. Symptoms often include racing heartbeat, difficulty breathing, feelings of terror that is almost paralyzing, dizziness, nausea, shaking, sweating, choking, chest pains, tingling in fingers or toes, and fear that you are going to go crazy or are about to die. Individuals with this disorder often fear when their next panic attack will occur and limit their activities as a result.
  • Phobias are intense fear of certain objects or situations. Some common phobias are fear of flying, fear of social settings, and fear of developing certain diseases.

Anxiety disorders can have severe consequences if left untreated. Many people who suffer from untreated anxiety disorders are prone to other psychological disorders, such as depression and have a tendency to abuse alcohol or other drugs. It is important to understand that treatment for anxiety disorders do not work instantly but most cases of anxiety disorders can be treated successfully over time.