Anxiety

Overview of Common Anxiety Disorders

By Joe Peraino, Ph.D.

Panic Disorder

Sudden bursts of anxiety symptoms, feel out of control, think they are dying

Phobias (Agoraphobia, Social, Specific)

Fear of being in places where they might feel trapped or unable to get help in an emergency. Often the emergency is having a panic attack. Specific phobias may focus on animals, elements of the environment (e.g., water), certain situations (e.g., flying), blood, injections, etc. Social phobia involves a pervasive fear of scrutiny by others.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

People with GAD have chronic and pervasive anxiety about most aspects of their lives. They are hypervigilant for threats.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a set of symptoms, including hypervigilance, re-experiencing of the trauma, and emotional numbing, experienced by trauma survivors.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder but has many distinct features. Obsessions are unwanted, intrusive thoughts that the individual feels are uncontrollable. Compulsions are ritualized behaviors that the individual feels forced to engage in. (Contrast OCD with Obessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder where the compulsive habits are not perceived by the individual as unusual or a source of concern/anxiety)