What is an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders are brought on by chemical imbalances within the brain. Neurotransmitters, chemical communicators between cells in the brain, include norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), etc. All of these play a role in the physical manifestation of anxiety. Anxiety disorders can also worsen due to past trauma as well as situational and/or emotional stress in an individual’s life.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Social Phobias
- Specific Phobias (i.e. arachnophobia – fear of spiders)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
One individual can display anxiety completely differently from another individual. Common symptoms can include intense moments of panic, crying, and hyperventilating. Other, subtler symptoms can include perfectionism, obsessive repetitive motions, biting lips, biting nails, and fidgeting.
However, it is important to understand that a clinical diagnosis of anxiety is only made when the symptoms have impaired an individual’s daily living and progresses over six months. A healthcare professional should always be consulted for a diagnosis.
What To Do if You Expect an Anxiety Disorder
It’s never easy to watch a loved one suffer from an anxiety disorder or to be the one battling anxiety. Please involve a trusted healthcare professional in what is going on. You are not alone in what you are battling and there are people who can help.