Anxiety Disorders

Everyone experiences occasional anxiety in response to the stress of everyday life. You may feel your heart pounding or a sense of dread before an event but the feeling quickly passes. However, for someone with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away over time and may even be debilitating. The feelings of worry and fear are intense, persistent and may interfere with daily activities. 

The severity of symptoms, frequency, and ability to cope separate everyday worries from an anxiety disorder. Examples include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: A pattern of excessive worry about a variety of issues on most days for at least six months, often accompanied by physical symptoms such as muscle tension, a hammering heart, or dizziness.
  • Social anxiety disorder: Feeling significant anxiety in social situations or when called on to perform in front of others, such as in public speaking.
  • Phobias: A particular animal, insect, object or situation causes substantial anxiety.
  • Panic disorder: Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of heart-banging fear, breathlessness and dread.

Anxiety disorders are classified according to specific symptoms and behaviors. There are many highly effective treatment options including psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both.