Anxiety disorders are a broad category of problems, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Anxiety disorders are characterised by worry, fear, rumination and apprehension. It is likely that a variety of factors including genetics, stress, social learning, brain chemistry, thought patterns, environmental factors, and past (traumatic) experiences help determine whether someone will struggle with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety symptoms may also sometimes be caused by a medical problem (i.e., anemia or a thyroid disorder) or overusing a stimulant substance (i.e., caffeine).
All of these anxiety disorders involve 3 different components:
- psychological components (thoughts and feelings)
- behavioural components (avoidance of the trigger)
- physical components (the body-based reactions such as heart palpitations, sweating, and feeling dizzy).