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About Anxiety

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Are anxiety disorders common?

Anxiety disorders are some of the most common forms of emotional disorders. In fact, about 10% of Australians will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime. Anxiety disorders can occur in anyone from infants through to the elderly.


Are there different types of anxiety disorders?

There are many different types of anxiety disorders. Some are characterised by fear of being around certain objects or animals, some are characterised by fear of being in certain social situations, while others are characterised by fear of specific physical symptoms. Other anxiety disorders can involve obsessions or repetitive routines, or intense thoughts of worry.


Do anxiety disorders occur with other disorders?

It is common for anxiety disorders to occur with other disorders such as depression or eating disorders. Many people also suffer from more than one type of anxiety disorder.


What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety often produces many physical symptoms. These can include a racing heart beat, shortness of breath, upset stomach, muscle tension, sweating, feelings of choking, shaking, and feeling faint or dizzy. You may find that you worry a lot about things that are out of your control, and that it's sometimes hard to stop worrying. Sometimes, anxiety makes it difficult for people to be around feared objects, in feared situations, or thinking about certain memories or thoughts. People suffering from anxiety may also "jump to conclusions" or predict that the worst outcome will happen in a situation. These thoughts and physical sensations can make people feel so uncomfortable, that they begin to avoid situations that will bring up their anxiety. Anxiety can stop people doing the things they want to do, and taking pleasure from everyday activities.


What causes anxiety?

There is no one single cause for any anxiety disorder. In fact, most anxiety disorders are made up of a combination of biological, situational, and individual characteristics, specific to each person.


Can anxiety be overcome?

There are currently many highly effective treatments for anxiety disorders, such as certain medications and therapy. Therapy programs focus on enabling people to manage their anxiety and maintain therapeutic gains once treatment has finished. Therapy programs such as Facing the Fear are based on clinical research trials, which support the effectiveness of therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders.