Depression and Anxiety Disorders

We have discussed different types of depression in the previous chapters.

However, there is another whole litany of conditions that are related or share some of the common symptoms of depression.

These conditions are known as anxiety disorders.

Let’s explore some of those disorders.

The Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety / Panic Attacks

An anxiety or panic attack is often due to exaggerated and inflated concerns about relationships or finances.

The worry may be normal for a time but when this feeling of dread becomes prolonged and starts to manifest itself physically through heart palpitations, tremors, nausea, and breathing difficulties, then a panic attack has occurred.

Experts estimate that three out of 10 people will have at least one extreme panic attack episode with a great chance of recurrence. Seeking treatment to avoid the dangerous physical manifestations is important.

Social Anxiety Disorder

A constant fear of criticism from others has been defined as Social Anxiety Disorder – a common form of anxiety usually developed at social settings like business, church, or school functions.

Patients experience feelings of distress that lead to isolation and avoidance of social contact.

Phobias

People with specific fears of something manifest signs of anxiety when presented their particular phobia. Some common forms of phobias include the fear of heights, flying, water and spiders.

Research shows over 1000 phobias have been documented.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

As one of the most prevalent forms of anxiety GAD is recognized as an excessive worry over common things such as one’s job or family.

Feelings of concern recur very often hampering a person’s ability to function well in their environment.

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a phobia that can have devastating results. It upsets normal social function because of the fear of leaving one’s home and being exposed to public places.

When forced to leave the home, the patient may exhibit extreme panic attacks that affect the person physically with palpitations and breathing difficulties.

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome 

Triggered by extreme and traumatic events, a person suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome occurs when someone who has been through a traumatic life experience suffers future anxiety and panic over it.

Severe experiences in wartime, for example, may not only bring out anxiety and stress but also induce panic attacks.

Other traumatic events that sufferers base their anxieties on are rape and sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and natural events like an earthquake or hurricane.

Most people know that they have these conditions. What is difficult to understand is why these disorders have such a hold on their lives.

If you are experiencing any of these conditions, arming yourself with information and consulting with trained professionals is the first step in finding effective treatment that can lead to a speedier recovery.

There are some conditions that are so severe that we need to discuss them in depth.

The next chapter is devoted to two serious disorders that appear to be increasing in our society at an alarming rate.

Manic depression and bipolar disorder are not to be treated lightly.