Get the Facts
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems. One in four people will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Anxiety disorders can result in significant personal and societal costs, such as lost wages, decreased productivity, reduced quality of life, and frequent use of health care services.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
People worry excessively for at least a six-month period about common life matters, such as finances, family or health, when there are no signs of trouble.
"I was driving to my friend's house when all of a sudden, I felt a rush of terror. My body and mind seemed to go out of control. My heart started to pound, I was hot and shaking and I had trouble breathing. This is it, I thought. I'm dying." —J.M.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This is an extreme anxiety about being negatively evaluated or scrutinized by others and/or being publicly embarrassed. Thoughts like, “I’ll die of embarrassment” or “What will they think of me if I do that,” dominate one's thoughts.
Childhood Social Anxiety
Social anxiety can look different depending on the child but it is all rooted in the same intense fear of negative evaluation. Having a very small social circle, not initiating conversations or invitations with peers, or avoiding social or performance situations and activities are all signs that a child could be struggling with social anxiety.
A phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation that poses no real threat or danger.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive thoughts are unwanted, intrusive, and impulsive thoughts that produce feelings of anxiety. They often involve a theme of harm or danger. Compulsions or rituals are often performed in response to obsessive thoughts in order to alleviate the anxiety one feels in response to them.
Separation anxiety disorder occurs when the individual “…experiences excessive fear or anxiety concerning separation from those to whom the individual is attached…”
Adults with agoraphobia avoid situations where they think they will not be able to escape or find help. They avoid these situations due to fear of having a panic attack or other anxiety-related feelings.
For adults with these disorders there is a preoccupation with one or more somatic symptoms or having or getting a serious illness or condition. Naturally occurring sensations are often misinterpreted as evidence for illness, and consequently the individual is easily alarmed about their health.