World Mental Health Day: 10th October













Anxiety can be experienced in lots of different ways. If your experiences meet certain criteria your doctor might diagnose you with a specific anxiety disorder.


Some commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders are:

       Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)  this means having regular or uncontrollable worries about many different things in your everyday life. Because there are lots of possible symptoms of anxiety this can be quite a broad diagnosis, meaning that the problems you experience with GAD might be quite different from another person's experiences.


       Social anxiety disorder  this diagnosis means you experience extreme fear or anxiety triggered by social situations (such as parties, workplaces, or everyday situations where you have to talk to another person). It is also known as social phobia.


       Panic disorder  this means having regular or frequent panic attacks without a clear cause or trigger. Experiencing panic disorder can mean that you feel constantly afraid of having another panic attack, to the point that this fear itself can trigger your panic attacks.


       Phobias  an overwhelming and debilitating fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal.  Phobias are more pronounced than fears.  They develop when a person has an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object.  If a phobia becomes very severe, a person may organise their life around avoiding the thing that's causing them anxiety.  As well as restricting their day-to-day life, it can also cause a lot of distress.

o   Agoraphobia - extreme or irrational fear of entering open or crowded places, of leaving one's own home, or of being in places from which escape is difficult.


o   Claustrophobic - having an extreme or irrational fear of confined places.

       Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  this is a diagnosis you may be given if you develop anxiety problems after going through something you found traumatic. PTSD can involve experiencing flashbacks or nightmares which can feel like you're re-living all the fear and anxiety you experienced at the time of the traumatic events.


       Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)  you may be given this diagnosis if your anxiety problems involve having repetitive thoughts, behaviours or urges.


        Health anxiety  this means you experience obsessions and compulsions relating to illness, including researching symptoms or checking to see if you have them. It is related to OCD.


       Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)  this means you experience obsessions and compulsions relating to your physical appearance.


       Perinatal anxiety or perinatal OCD  some people develop anxiety problems during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth.


Main Symptoms

       Chest tightness or pain

       Chills or hot flashes

       Choking sensations


       Difficulty breathing


       Dry mouth

       Increased blood pressure


       Racing heartbeat

       Shaking or trembling


In addition to these physical symptoms, people may experience dread, a sense of impending doom, fear of losing control, or even the feeling that death is imminent. To avoid such feelings, people with phobias may avoid any situation where they might potentially encounter the source of their fear.


National Support:









Free Talking Therapies:




Bath and North East Somerset (BaNes)










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