Anxiety is something every human experiences. Sometimes anxiety can be a healthy concern about our future, but more often anxiety is unhealthy, causes us angst, and prevents us from being who and doing what we desire. This section will be useful both to those who struggle with anxiety but not to such an extent that it can be classified as a disorder as well as for those who experience significant disruption of their lives due to their anxiety.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Phobia – Intense fear of a specific thing or situation with the knowledge that largely unrealistic with the actual danger posed by said thing or situation.
- Agoraphobia – A fear of being trapped in place or situation.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – A fear of being judged by others resulting in avoiding social contact with others.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Involves obsessive thoughts which lead to compulsive actions (or thoughts) to mitigate the discomfort aroused by the obsessive thoughts.
- Note that as of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version 5 OCD has been moved out of the anxiety classification and into its own section.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Anxiety arising from a traumatic experience.
What Causes Unhealthy Anxiety?
- Low levels of the neurotransmitter GABA.
- Abuse of substances including alcohol.
- Brain structure that is different from that found in those without anxiety disorders (e.g. increased/decreased grey matter, amygdala dysfunction).
- Severe / Chronic Stress.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
- Medication (SSRI, SNRI, Benzodiazepines, MAOIs)
- Aerobic Exercise.
Interesting Side Note
- Studies indicate a correlation between anxiety disorders and difficulty maintaining balance.