What are anxiety disorders?
Learn and understand about anxiety disorders and how you can access treatment and support.
What are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety is when you feel really worried, nervous, or scared about things. It can affect you in different ways. For example, you might feel your heart racing, find it hard to sleep, or feel jittery. If you feel like this often and it fits certain patterns, a doctor might say you have an anxiety disorder. This term is used when your anxiety is intense and occurs frequently.
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): A person with BDD is extremely worried about a part of their body they see as flawed, even if others don’t notice it.
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This is when someone feels worried about many different things most of the time, even when there might not be a big reason to worry. There are lots of possible symptoms of anxiety, so GAD can be quite a broad diagnosis, meaning one persons experience of GAD may be entirely different to anothers.
- Health Anxiety: This is when someone is overly worried about having or getting a serious illness. They might constantly check their body for signs of sickness or frequently visit doctors to get reassurance that they’re not sick.
- Panic Disorder: This involves having sudden and intense attacks of fear that can happen without warning. These panic attacks can include symptoms like a racing heart, feeling weak, faint, or dizzy, and feeling scared of losing control or having a heart attack.
- Perinatal Anxiety: This type of anxiety occurs during pregnancy and after giving birth. It includes excessive worry about the health and wellbeing of the baby, fear of childbirth, and concerns about their ability to be a good mother. It can also include physical symptoms like heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
- Phobias: A phobia is a very strong fear of a specific thing or situation. For example, someone might have an intense fear of heights (acrophobia) or spiders (arachnophobia). This fear is so strong that it can lead to avoiding normal situations to stay away from the thing they’re afraid of.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD can happen after someone experiences a very traumatic event, like war, a natural disaster, or personal assault. People with PTSD may have nightmares, flashbacks of the event, and can feel very anxious or on-edge all the time.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): This involves having unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and behaviors (compulsions) that they feel they must do. For example, someone might be obsessed with germs and feel compelled to wash their hands repeatedly.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: This is a fear of being in social situations. People with this disorder are very worried about feeling embarrassed or judged by others. This can make it hard for them to do things like speaking in public or meeting new people.