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Anxiety Disorders

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Although anxiety is a common human experience, it can certainly be debilitating when it presents in an excessive manner. In anxiety disorders, the level of anxiety felt and associated symptoms is disproportionate to the presenting real or perceived threat. This means that people experience excessive and persistent fear and anxiety given a certain stimulus, oftentimes overestimating the actual danger that this stimulus might bring. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heart beat, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating and shakiness, are all common symptoms in anxiety disorders.

In anxiety disorders avoidance is a key factor in maintaining these symptoms of anxiety. When an individual experiences anxiety in regards to a certain situation, sensation, object or experience they tend to want to avoid it to avoid the distressing experience that comes with it. However, by avoiding it, all they are doing is reinforcing the idea that it is actually as bad as they think it is. In essence avoidance not only reinforces anxiety, but takes away any chances of learning that the stimulus may not be as bad as they think it is.

 

The DSM 5 currently recognizes the following anxiety disorders.

  • Separation Anxiety

  • Selective Mutism

  • Specific Phobia

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Panic Disorder

  • Agoraphobia

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Substance-Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder

  • Anxiety Disorder due to a medical condition

 

Taking time to learn about your symptoms is a huge first step. If you would like to learn more about the treatment of anxiety, please contact us. Our psychological treatment is tailored to meet your own individual needs.

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