Anxiety disorders are a specific category of mental illness categorized by significant fear or worry that won't seem to subside. Sometimes the fear or anxious symptoms become progressively worse with time. With anxiety disorders, the stress and fear patients feel are disproportionate to their actual life circumstances. Individuals with an anxiety disorder also tend to be anxious regardless of what's going on, rather than only experiencing stress in response to life events. Anxiety disorders negatively impact a patient's quality of life. The DSM-V separates anxiety disorders into three categories, which include trauma and stress-related disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and anxiety disorders. Every individual's anxiety will manifest differently, and one individual doesn't need to have every symptom to meet the diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder.
With this in mind, get familiar with the major types of anxiety disorders now.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder occurs when individuals excessively and persistently worry about a large number of things. This disorder can be described as a heightened feeling of anxiety regarding every aspect of one's life. It's common for patients with generalized anxiety disorder to spend a lot of time worrying about work, family, health, money, and other problems. It's also difficult to control the worry, even if they know the worry isn't rational. Their worries might seem unwarranted when considering the actual circumstances. Many individuals with generalized anxiety disorder catastrophize, which means they often think about worst-case scenarios even if the worst-case scenario is unlikely to happen. To receive a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder, an individual must have trouble controlling their anxiety for more days than they don't for a minimum of six months. They must also present with at least three of the symptoms. The time limit helps to separate this disorder from worries that might be caused by specific stressful life circumstances or changes. About 3.1 percent of adults in the United States have generalized anxiety disorder.
Learn about the next major type of anxiety disorder now.