Anxiety disorders are very common. A national survey has shown that 1 in every 16 Australians struggle with a kind of anxiety issues . I will list the different types of anxiety disorders in the next paragraph. The common features of these problems are debilitating fear, anxiety, or nervousness that interfere with your life. Anxiety often causes physical symptoms such as excessive sweating, dizzy spells, headache, dry mouth, racing heart, tightness of chest, upset tummy, numbness, muscle spasm, shaky hands, and restlessness. These physical symptoms are sometimes so bad that they make people confused as to whether there’s something wrong with their body rather than mind.
Panic attacks are like a wave of intense fear during which you get chest discomfort, can’t breathe well, and feel like that you’re going to pass out or die. Many rush to hospital in fear of having a heart attack. If panic attacks repeat over and over, then it's called panic disorder. This is a nerve-wracking experience and it sometimes makes people lose their self-reliance; they prefer to stay at home, and feel scared of going out on their own. This is called agoraphobia.
Anxiety symptoms are not always as dramatic as for a panic attack; sometimes they are milder but continuous. This is called generalised anxiety disorder. People with generalised anxiety show excessive worry for anything and everything day in and day out. Another common problem is social phobia. This is when a person feels very uncomfortable in social situations and avoids social functions or new people. Finally, some people have intense fear of certain things. This is called specific phobia; a well-known example is claustrophobia or fear of closed spaces.
Anxiety disorders can cause significant distress and dysfunction. People with anxiety issues may miss many social or work opportunities. Some become socially withdrawn and depressed. Others may turn to drugs and alcohol to calm themselves or to socialise. Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse usually makes the situation worse and becomes an additional issue of its own. Anxiety disorders are generally chronic conditions; sometimes people with these conditions feel fed up and get snappy; others may lose hope and entertain suicidal ideas.