Another word for anxiety is worry or fear. Some fear is normal, but anxiety can reach levels that interfere with life, and it can be difficult to control. Indicators of anxiety include restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge; being easily fatigued; difficulty concentrating or mind going blank; irritability; muscle tension; sleep disturbances (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless, unsatisfying sleep).
A phobia is an intense fear of a particular thing like snakes or spiders.
This website from Mayo Clinic describes it in detail and describes treatments:
A panic attack is scary. You feel out of control, and with the possible chest pains, sometimes people think that they are having a heart attack. Don’t suffer a panic attack alone. Reach out to someone and get help. Human beings are not intended to be able to handle every situation on their own. We need another person sometimes. This is one of those times. Consider the diagnostic criteria below. When you reach out to someone, share this website with them. It can explain a lot that you don’t have to explain and helps the person be able to relate to you.
A panic attack involves four or more of the following:
- Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
- Feelings of choking
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
- Chills or heat sensations
- Paresthesias (numbness of tingling sensations).
- Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself).
- Fear of loosing control or “going crazy”.
- Fear of dying.
(these criteria are from the DSM-V)
Agoraphobia is the avoidance of public places where a person might have little avenues of escape. A person with agoraphobia can become afraid to leave his/her house.
Again, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America has good information.
Hoarding is another disorder on the anxiety spectrum. It is the inability to throw things away regardless of their value. It can become extreme seriously impacting the person’s quality of life.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America is a good resource.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is commonly known by its acronym, OCD. OCD is a disorder on the anxiety spectrum. OCD involves unwanted and unreasonable fears that result in repetitive behaviors to control the fear. Examples are repetitive hand-washing, counting steps, checking locks, having to do a certain behavior a certain number of times to create a good outcome and the fear of a bad outcome if the compulsion is not followed. This disorder is treatable with the right help. The Mayo Clinic has some good information: