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If you suddenly experience an episode of intense anxiety and fear that sets off physical reactions, and there is no apparent reason for this episode, it is called a panic attack. Multiple occurrences of this extremely common health issue indicate a panic disorder, which can be very problematic and frightening. You may have panicky thoughts and believe you are going crazy, having a heart attack or dying
Panic disorder (characterised by anxiety or panic attacks)
Fear and worry are the two chief characteristics of panic disorder. Even if you are in no actual danger, you may experience physical reactions, such as nausea, fast breathing and shaking, as if you are being threatened. You may also worry about when your next panic attack will occur.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
When you have constant negative thoughts about bad things, but the chances of these things actually happening is very slim, you may have generalised anxiety disorder. If you have this condition, you may also simply feel worried all the time for no reason. These anxieties are so overwhelming that they affect your daily life and your ability to relax.
Social anxiety disorder
Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder is characterised by an extreme fear of social situations and making a fool of yourself. This condition tends to make people very shy and cause them to steer clear of social interactions. Stage fright is a prime example of a social phobia.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Traumatic events – such as being involved in a car accident or fighting in a war (many soldiers suffer from PSTD) – may cause you to feel sad, frightened and detached from other people. The negative effects of PTSD can persist for long periods and may lead an inability to live normally.