Work/Life Connections
September 27, 2011

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Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It may signal a tense situation in the office, encourage one to study harder for an exam, or remind us to keep focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety becomes excessive so that we have an irrational dread of everyday situations; it becomes a disabling disorder. (National Institute of Mental Health- NIMH).

The DSM-V (Psychiatric Diagnostic Statistical Manual) defines five major types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
  • Panic disorder – unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
  • Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder – an overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation — such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others — or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.

There are very effective treatments for anxiety disorders that can help most people with anxiety disorders reduce stress and resume their normal daily tasks.

For a free assessment and referrals, call Work/life Connections-EAP at 615-936-1327.

Additional Information:

Take an Anxiety Self-Assessment

Learn about Health Plus Mindful Breaks

Watch WLC-EAP's Mindfulness Videos

Note: Source Article from National Institute of Health

Keywords: Anxiety, Fear, Panic, Phobia, Tension