The International Association of Anxiety Management
The definitive web resource for sufferers of anxiety disorders, phobias and panic
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Anxiety Disorder

There are five major anxiety disorders; you may experience one, two or more of these conditions simultaneously. They are listed below:


Social anxiety and phobias are the most common of the anxiety disorder symptoms. Social anxiety and agoraphobia are by far the most common. Social phobia restricts the sufferer by becoming apparent when interaction with other people or places is required; this can often result in a panic attack developing. Agoraphobia similarly restricts sufferers but is also evident at home when left alone or when asked to go somewhere without a person of trust.


Because your body and mind are affected directly by your environment, generalized anxiety disorders form when your anxiety levels, controlled by the Amygdala, become heightened. This usually happens as a result of constant stress or stressful life circumstances such as divorce or bereavement for example. 

Generalized anxiety disorder can manifest itself in many ways dependent on your physical and mental makeup. Generally, sufferers experience low grade, constant symptoms such as digestive upsets, dizziness, tiredness and insomnia, but sometimes more chronic symptoms may be apparent.


There are three types of panic attack:

Spontaneous - Spontaneous panic attacks are indiscriminate and become apparent very quickly - sometimes within seconds of experiencing the first symptom.

Specific - Specific panic attacks are habitual in nature and occur as a result of being presented with a specific stressor.

Situational - Situational panic attacks are confined to appearing in a very specific situation.


PTSD is the condition which arises from a sufferers confrontation with a potentially life-threatening situation, be that life threatening to themselves or another person. Commonly the sufferer will complain of GAD or panic attacks and may develop some depression like symptoms.

Gulf War Syndrome and Shell Shock were the names given to the PTSD conditions experienced by war veterans after combat.


OCD is the name given to the condition that causes the sufferer to gain an inappropriate level of obsession about an action, activity, person or object. Commonly, OCD manifests itself as repeated behaviors such as hand washing or checking, for example, that the gas has been turned off or that the door is locked.

OCD is very invasive and frustrating for the sufferer. They know that what they do and say is inappropriate but the fear of the consequences of not carrying out there rituals drives them to do it anyway.

The lines which separate the five anxiety disorders are blurred, there is no set pattern to how they may manifest themselves in the sufferer.

Read more Anxiety Disorder Information

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