Q: What is anxiety?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Anxiety is simply a sense of fear, nervousness, or concern regarding a specific situation or event. It is a normal reaction to things such as an exam, upcoming childbirth, or job change. At its most extreme, anxiety may result in an inability to complete day-to-day tasks.
Q: What are the different types of anxiety disorder?
Marla Ahlgrimm: The vast majority of anxiety disorders fall in the category of generalized anxiety (GAD). This results in constant worry about things others perceive as normal. For instance, a person with GAD may experience a virtual inability to cope with minor issues, such as a higher-than-expected water bill. Panic disorders are another common type of anxiety disorder and is typified by sudden sense of doom and panic in situations with no danger.
Q: Do phobias fall under the scope of anxiety disorders?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes with social phobia, often called social anxiety disorder, being perhaps the most common. People with social phobia fear interactions with others. Other phobias, such as the fear of flying or fear of spiders can also result in severe anxiety or panic attacks.
Q: How are anxiety disorders treated?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Treatment depends on the individual. Typically, counseling is a first course of action followed by medication deemed appropriate for the individual’s symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are often used to help an individual change their mindset and develop a tolerance to their trigger respectively.