Most of us make the big mistake of viewing anxiety as a minor concern, one that can be overcome. However, what we fail to realize is that anxiety could be a very serious problem especially due to the fact that it could take very many forms. Phobia, Post traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder are all considered to be the various forms of anxiety.
Anxiety elicits a number of varied reactions from people. Most people see it as a sign of weakness, and proceed to treat the people experiencing it as fear-controlled weaklings, incapable of properly handling with the world around them. Other people view it as a simple character flaw that can otherwise be overcome, usually by exposing themselves to the situations that cause them anxiety. And others, view anxiety as a mental problem. However, outside of the medical field, most people fail to realize that anxiety could be likened to an umbrella term, with several other conditions falling into its jurisdiction.
Panic disorder, which is generally viewed as a more extreme form of anxiety is characterized by symptoms that include extreme fear and dread, though no truly discernible, specific causes have been found. This condition has also been known to cause quite a number of physical side effects, usually similar to the ones associated with the natural fear response mechanism of the body.
Interestingly enough, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCDs) have at times also been categorized as one of the sub-forms of anxiety. OCDs are psychological conditions that make people put an undue amount of focus to particular activities or things, and compel them to perform actions related to the said activities or things. A familiar case is of actor Jack Nicholson who plays a character with an OCD (one focused on cleanliness), in the classic film “As Good As It Gets.” Well, for OCDs, anxiety stems from instances where the particular patient tries fighting the “compulsive” part of this disorder. Not doing what their mind convinces them to do causes great discomfort to moments of anxiety and fear.
Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs) have also been linked to anxiety. This hold some truth especially when you consider that PTSD patients recall certain traumatic experiences that tend to be triggered by specific sounds, objects or locations. This could include anything, even finding themselves in or near the actual location where the trauma occurred originally. Exposure to or the mere thought of exposure could cause extreme anxiety and reactions to these persons, with the effects noticeably intensifying as the prospects become more real. The anxiety could also get to a point where the patients actively attempt to avoid exposure to anything that would trigger a relapse of the traumatic memories.
Phobias, often considered as the most specialized forms of anxiety are unlike panic and the regular forms of anxiety, in that people with phobia associate feelings of dreads and fear with specific triggers. While PTSD could be associated with phobia, the two don’t always intermingle.
In most cases, most anxieties are completely unfounded, but could be rooted deep in the patient’s childhood experiences or other specific situations. In case you experience any of these anxieties try to seek treatment through a number of therapies, among them counselling, lifestyle changes, diet and medication.