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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Valdosta chapter.

Common Categories of Anxiety Disorder

A lot of times when we think of anxiety, we think of the panic attack that happens before every math test. Imagine the impact of having this feeling during everyday life. Anxiety is not a disease and it is most certainly not an illness. It is a physiological, psychological, and emotional state that occurs when we behave in a manner that is controlled by the fear of something unpleasant happening. This fear derives from allowing one’s mind to dwell on troubles or difficulties and the anticipation of imagined threatening events. Anxiety becomes a disorder when these behaviors begin interfering with everyday life activities.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – Individuals with social anxiety are often seen as shy, disinterested, and at times withdrawn. The excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations leaves the individual overwhelmed with feelings of being watched or chastened by their own actions. Underdeveloped social skills is another contributor to anxiety as it leaves the individual with feelings of discouragement or worry after interacting with others. The obsession with the analysis of one’s own actions is often recognized by the individual, but this obsession overshadows the fear of vulnerability.  

Panic Disorder – The sudden and repeated attacks due to fear of losing control occur even when there is no real threat. These attacks may take place at any time and often leave the fear of another occurring. A person undergoing a panic attack may experience physical symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, racing heart, and trouble breathing. These attacks often leave the body exhausted and the individual with feelings of discouragement being that they cannot carry out common routines. Experiencing panic attacks in certain places often leads to avoidance of these places in hope of avoiding an upcoming panic attack.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – An individual affected by OCD undergoes rituals they feel they must do in order to remain in control. These feelings are the result of persistent uninvited or disturbing thoughts the individual would like to get rid of. The thoughts that are constantly disturbing the individual are referred to as the obsessions. The rituals in response to these obsessions are referred to as the compulsions. From the perspective of the individual, these compulsions are temporarily preventing or reducing the stress of the obsessions. These feelings of stress reoccur and build when the individual ceases their ritual, leaving the impulse to continue. However, this obsession to compulsion cycle may be repeated so often that it fills the entire day.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – Following a terrifying event, an individual may experience fears of this event reoccurring. These fears are triggered by the persistent thoughts and memories associated with the traumatic event. These memories can lead to the individual avoiding places or situations that revive feelings of attack or uneasiness. Individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may experience flashbacks that cause them to relive the trauma repetitively, nightmares, and also frightening thoughts throughout the day in a reminder of the trauma.


Overcoming Anxiety

The first step to overcoming anxiety is acknowledging how it affects you. Realizing the disruptions these feelings cause in your everyday life allows for a basis to grow upon. Anxiety is not something to be ashamed of as everyone at some point in time experiences it. However, allowing anxiety to control routines and interactions will leave you stagnant as life continues to move on. It is vital to take responsibility of your own progress and remain truthful to yourself when acknowledging exactly what it is that you are afraid of. When identifying triggers, it is important not to avoid these triggers, continuing to face and work through triggers will allow for the gradual development of coping skills. Coping mechanisms such as deep breaths, counting backward from 10, limiting caffeine, and welcoming humor all contribute to relieving stress and your overall well-being. 

Live in the present and accept your emotions, positivity derives from within you!


Jamesia Folston is an Early Childhood Education student at Valdosta State University. She is a 23 year old alternative music addict who enjoys traveling, thrifting, and creating. She aspires to become an educator abroad and globetrotter.
Her Campus at Valdosta State.