Anxiety disorders affect approximately one in five individuals, and women are 60 percent more likely to experience an anxiety disorder than men. Everyone experiences anxiety, but for some individuals the intensity and duration of this anxiety is much greater and impairs functioning. Unlike the mild worry that many people experience in response to stressful situations, individuals with anxiety disorders have intense, pervasive anxiety lasting most days, for six months or more. Anxiety disorders encompass a number of conditions, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. While the specific symptoms of the individual anxiety disorders vary, they are all characterized by excessive, irrational fear.
Anxiety disorders can be managed with psychotherapy, including exposure therapy and/or medication.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Those diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder have excessive anxiety and worry about a variety of topics that lasts for at least six months.
Panic disorder involves panic attacks (a physical response to stress or anxiety) and the worry associated with triggering another panic attack.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD is characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts that provoke anxiety and interfere with functioning.
Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
In postpartum OCD, a new mother's obsessions center on the new infant and cause intense anxiety and functional impairment.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
A PTSD diagnosis requires the occurrence of a serious threat such as death, actual or threatened injury, sexual violence or traumatic delivery.