This presentation includes reading, videos, weblinks, and other content regarding anxiety disorders. It is possible that something you read/watch during this presentation will trigger an emotional response, whether or not you have experienced anxiety disorders. Please seek help if needed.
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What are the types of anxiety disorders?
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People with GAD worry about ordinary issues such as health, money, work, and family. But their worries are excessive, and they have them almost every day for at least 6 months.
- Panic disorder. People with panic disorder have panic attacks. These are sudden, repeated periods of intense fear when there is no danger. The attacks come on quickly and can last several minutes or more.
- Phobias. People with phobias have an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Their fear may be about spiders, flying, going to crowded places, or being in social situations (known as social anxiety).
What are the symptoms of anxiety disorders?
The different types of anxiety disorders can have different symptoms. But they all have a combination of:
- Anxious thoughts or beliefs that are hard to control. They make you feel restless and tense and interfere with your daily life. They do not go away and can get worse over time.
- Physical symptoms, such as a pounding or rapid heartbeat, unexplained aches and pains, dizziness, and shortness of breath
- Changes in behavior, such as avoiding everyday activities you used to do
Things you shouldn't do:
- Don’t try to minimize it. Understand that the panic you see is real to your friend, even if the cause may not appear rational to you.
- Don’t be judgmental or critical. Blaming someone for a panic attack doesn’t help. Don’t try to talk them out of it, either.
- Don't make assumptions about what the person needs. Ask.
- Don't panic. Panic fuels panic so it’s most important that you control your own anxiety when responding to someone else’s panic attack. You should also ask other people to move away and give the sufferer some space as this will make the whole situation feel calmer too and abate any worries the sufferer has now or later about how many peers witnessed their attack.