GLOSSARY FOR ANXIETY

I – PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH ANXIETY

Excessive worry:

A hallmark symptom of anxiety is excessive and persistent worry about a wide range of everyday events or activities. This worry can feel difficult to control and can interfere with daily life.

Physical symptoms:

Anxiety can cause a variety of physical symptoms, including sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal problems like nausea and diarrhea.

Restlessness:

People with anxiety may feel restless or on edge, and may have difficulty sitting still or relaxing.

Fatigue:

Anxiety can be exhausting, and people with anxiety may feel tired or fatigued even if they haven’t done anything physically strenuous.

Irritability:

Anxiety can make people feel on edge or irritable, and they may be more easily annoyed or frustrated.

Sleep problems:

Anxiety can interfere with sleep, causing difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Waking up early in the morning is another sleep problem common in anxiety.

Avoidance behaviors:

Some people with anxiety may avoid situations or activities that trigger their anxiety, which can lead to a sense of isolation and may limit their ability to participate in everyday life.

II – MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY

Panic attacks:

A panic attack is a sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort, accompanied by physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Panic attacks can be frightening and debilitating, and can occur without warning.

Intrusive thoughts:

Some people with anxiety experience intrusive, unwanted thoughts or images that can be distressing and difficult to control.

Phobias:

A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of a specific object or situation. People with phobias may go to great lengths to avoid the feared object or situation, which can limit their daily life.

Social anxiety:

Social anxiety is a type of anxiety characterized by a fear of being judged, evaluated, or scrutinized by others. People with social anxiety may avoid social situations or experience intense anxiety when in social situations.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD):

GAD is a chronic form of anxiety characterized by excessive worry and anxiety about a wide range of everyday events or activities. People with GAD may worry about things that are unlikely to happen or that they have little control over.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by persistent, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions). People with OCD may engage in repetitive behaviors to reduce their anxiety, but these behaviors can be time-consuming and interfere with daily life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):

PTSD can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. People with PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance behavior related to the traumatic event.

Treatment:

Treatment for anxiety can include therapy, medication, and self-help strategies. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common form of therapy for anxiety that helps people identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors. Medications like antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can also be effective in treating anxiety. Self-help strategies like exercise, relaxation techniques, healthy diets, and stress management can also be very helpful in managing and overcoming anxiety symptoms.


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