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Anxiety related disorders

Updated on January 31, 2014

Generalized anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is pervasive, persistent anxiety of at least 6 months duration but without phobias, panic attacks or obsessions and compulsions. The person experiences chronic feeling of nervousness and apprehension "for no apparent reason."

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by panic attacks that recur at unpredictable times with intense apprehension, fear, and terror. Characteristics of panic attacks include:

  • physiologic symptoms of a "fight or flight" response¬†
  • racing heart
  • chest pain
  • dizziness and nausea
  • difficulty breathing
  • choking sensations
  • numbness and tingling sensation
  • trembling and diaphoresis (excessive sweating)
  • feeling that one is having a heart attack
  • feeling that one is "going crazy"
  • fear of loss of control
  • decrease perceptual ability
  • decrease cognitive abilities

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Obsession - which is a recurring thought that cannot be dismissed from consciousness, sometimes trivial or ridiculous, often morbid or fearful and always distressing and anxiety-provoking.

Compulsion - and uncontrollable, persistent urge to perform certain acts or behaviors to relieve an otherwise unbearable tension.


Phobia is a persistent and irrational fear ofa specific object, activity or situation that results in a compelling desire to avoid the dreaded object or situation. The fear is recognized as excessive or unreasonable in proportion to the actual danger.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Experience of a significant, recognizable stressor or trauma that is followed by recurrent subjective re-experience of the trauma. It reflects an origin in combat situations, a genereal numbing of responsiveness followed by cognitive or somatic symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, aggressiveness and depression.


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