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Panic disorder: recurrent episodes of panic attacks, worry about having an attack, about what it means, or changing the way one behaves because of the panic attacks for at least a month. Panic attacks are separate and intense periods of fear or feelings of doom developing over a very short time frame-10 minutes-and they're associated with at least four of the following:
Generalized anxiety disorder: excessive, unrealistic, and difficult to control worry over a period of at least six months. It's associated with three of the following:
Phobic disorders: intense, persistent, and recurring fear of certain objects (such as snakes, spiders, or blood) or situations (such as heights, speaking in front of a group, or public places). These exposures may trigger a panic attack.
Stress disorders: anxiety (also known as post-traumatic stress disorder) caused by the exposure to either death or near-death circumstances such as fires, floods, earthquakes, shootings, automobile accidents, or wars, for example. Other traumatic events may not have had the threat of death or near-death but resulted in the severe injury or threat thereof. Examples of such trauma include victimization through physical or sexual abuse, witnessing the abuse of another or over-exposure to inappropriate material (for example, exposure of children to pornographic images or acts). The traumatic event is re-experienced in thoughts and dreams. Common behaviors include the following:
Symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, fainting, and weakness generally should not be attributed to anxiety and require evaluation by a doctor.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014
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