Psychology Resources for Anxiety

Featured Programs:
Sponsored School(s)

Millions of people throughout the United States suffer from anxiety and related mental health issues. Anxiety is distinct from fear in that fear is a brief and healthy reaction to a specific, dangerous stimuli. On the other hand, anxiety is a more generalized, fear-like condition that expresses itself in unhealthy ways. No matter how anxiety manifests, it can severely restrain the sufferer from living a rich and full life in accordance with their potential. Thankfully, there are effective treatments available and professionals for all of the many different forms of anxiety.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by sudden and prolonged attacks of fear that are temporarily debilitating to the sufferer. They may hyperventilate, experience dizziness and heart palpitations, or even faint. Panic disorder can be acquired as the result of past trauma and have well-defined triggers, or it can be sudden and hard to explain. In the former case, talk therapy and exposure can help. Sudden cases may be caused by neuro-chemical issues that respond to medication.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) refers to long-term, fixated thoughts and compulsive behaviors that interfere with the sufferer’s life. Sufferers experience extreme anxiety when they do not perform these compulsive actions, or when they do them “incorrectly.” As a result, they feel compelled to repeatedly perform tasks such as washing their hands, locking and unlocking doors, or turning lights on and off. OCD behaviors sometimes manifest as the result of a specific fear, such as fear of germs. Medication can help reduce the anxiety associated with OCD.

Sponsored Content

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a range of symptoms experienced in the wake of a significant trauma. The trauma may be of any nature but is usually characterized by violence done to the PTSD sufferer or in their presence; extreme fear; and a profound feeling of helplessness. PTSD is frequently suffered by survivors of rape and war. Symptoms include mood swings, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, paranoia, and flashbacks. PTSD sufferers frequently benefit from discussing the source of the trauma with a therapist.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is a profound feeling of anxiety that makes it hard to interact with others. Sufferers of SAD may experience panic attacks when they are involved in social situations, or they may “clam up” due to extreme difficulty talking or maintaining eye contact. Many SAD sufferers actively avoid social situations in order to reduce their symptoms. SAD is usually treated with a combination of medication to control anxiety symptoms combined with gradual, safe exposure to social situations with an increasing amount of perceived risk.

Specific Phobias

Specific phobias refer to disruptive, irrational fears focused on a specific thing, place, person, sensation, or experience. Clinicians consider a fear to be irrational when the source of the fear is not conventionally dangerous or harmful to sufferers and the phobia interferes with their lives. Those with phobias significantly overestimate their risk of harm when confronted with the stimulus. Many phobia sufferers do not present themselves for treatment because they can safely avoid the stimulus in daily life. Exposure therapy can reduce or eliminate many phobias.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a general feeling of being “under threat” with no specific cause. GAD can manifest itself in many different ways, often appearing as chronic, problematic worry about multiple different issues – health, career, and more – that is intense enough to cause physical symptoms and interfere with ordinary function. Treatment consists of a combination of medication and psychotherapy aimed at building the sufferer’s confidence in stressful situations.

Sponsored Content

Additional Resources

About the Author: Ann Steele

This website is co-authored by Ann Steele, a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego with extensive experience with children and adolescents. Ann Steele attended American School Of Psychology & Argosy University Online. She especially enjoys using music therapy for mental and emotional well-being.

About This Site

We are an open forum for articles, manuscripts, unpublished thesis, and letters as well as a guide for job, career and program advice from like-minded Graduates. We are seeking submissions that will be of interest to the community.