Anxiety Disorders Part 1
There are many different types of disorders that affect individuals every day.
Amongst them all, the most common mental illness that affects 12% of the Canadian population is anxiety. Anxiety is a chronic condition that is considered to be an extreme and insistent sense of fear, worry, nervousness and trepidation. Anxiety is experienced in six different disorders: Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder, which may or may not consist of Agoraphobia (defined as an extreme or irrational fear of crowded or public places), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Separation Anxiety. In this first section we will cover Social Anxiety and PTSD and in an upcoming section the most common treatments for anxiety disorders will be discussed.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This disorder affects about 15 million adults and refers to the fear in which an individual is put in a social situation in which they anticipate embarrassment, judgement, rejection, or have a fear of offending others. The onset of Social Anxiety Disorder is approximately at the age of 13 and tends to worsen over time. Individuals dealing with such a disorder may have a hard time talking to people and making/keeping friends, they constantly worry about social events for days’ prior, tend to stay away from crowded places and can even experience sweating and trembling while communicating with others.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This disorder entails an exposure to a traumatic experience that can include death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Living with this disorder means that you may be re-living the event by having nightmares, flashbacks or uncontrollable thoughts. Individuals who experience this disorder tend to stay away from items or everyday activities that remind them of the traumatic event. It makes individuals suffering from this very “on edge” and nervous all the time. It also exposes them to feeling irritable, having a hard time concentrating, and developing sleeping problems. Other individuals feel like they are dreaming or that nothing is real as well as having difficulty expressing their feelings and emotions.