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Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Written byDesiree Smith

What is anxiety?

It’s common to feel anxious (fear & worry) prior to a significant event such as a presentation, job interview, romantic date, or a school examination.

What are anxiety disorders?

Anxiety disorders are more than the normal anxiety that is felt prior to significant events. Longstanding (typically last 6 months or longer) exaggerated anxiety that interferes with your daily life: school, hobbies, work, and home is known as anxiety disorder. Untreated anxiety disorders can impact your quality of life (APA, 2013).

Symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Fear
  • Panic
  • Tense muscles
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased sweating (particularly in hands and feet)
  • Dry mouth/throat
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Tingling in arms or legs
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

What are the types of anxiety disorders?

There are different types of anxiety disorders. A few of them are listed below:

Social anxiety: You constantly avoid public events or being in social gatherings (with family, friends, or general pubic) because you feel self-conscious and/or you worry about being judged or ridiculed.

Specific phobia: Specific situations, objects or even events provokean anxiety attack. You might have an extreme fear of certain animals, heights, close spaces, and clowns just to name a few.

Generalized anxiety: You experience extreme worry and fear about non-specific everyday life.

Panic disorder: Recurrent sudden unexplained fear and/or terror that comes out of nowhere. You might experience physical symptoms such as chest pains, feel your heart beating, have excessive sweating, and might even feel a choking sensation (APA, 2013) (NIMH, n.d.)..

Why do people develop anxiety?

The environment and genetic factors may play a role in the development of anxiety disorders.

What treatment options are available for anxiety disorders?

The first step to treatment and recovery is to seek help from a mental health care provider. Our providers are compassionate and utilize a holistic treatment approach. There are different treatment options available to treat anxiety disorders including medications, stress management techniques, and Integrated Psychotherapy. After a comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms, our providers will individualize your treatment plan based on your personal situation.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington: American Psychiatric Association.

National Institute of Mental Health (n.d.). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from:

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