Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders develop when anxiety is persistent over time and causes significant distress or impairment in functioning. They are distinguished by the types of objects or situations that induce the anxiety.


The apprehensive anticipation of future danger or misfortune accompanied by a feeling of worry, distress, and/or somatic symptoms of tension. The focus of anticipated danger may be internal or external.

Characteristics of Anxiety

  • Feeling apprehensive
  • Feeling powerless
  • Having sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired   
    (Source: Mayo Clinic)


Persistent fear, anxiety, and avoidance of a specific object or situation that is out of proportion to the actual danger that the object or situation poses. (Source: DSM-5)

Panic Disorder:

Panic disorder refers to recurrent unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. Followed by concern about additional attacks, and a maladaptive change in behavior related to the attacks.

Characteristics of Panic Disorder

  •  Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  •  Nausea
  •  Feeling dizzy/light-headed
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality)
  • Depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of dying
    (Source: DSM-5)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Excessive anxiety about a number of events or activities occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, and causes significant distress or impairment in functioning.

Characteristics of Anxiety Disorder
  • Difficulty controlling the worry
  • Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance
    (Source: DSM-5)

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