4 Must-Know Facts About Anxiety

MAY 02, 2016
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor
In honor of National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week, pharmacists should take the time to ensure patients with anxiety are aware of the basic facts about their condition.
Social stigma may cause some patients to hesitate in discussing their anxiety, which contributes to the fact that anxiety disorders are underdiagnosed and undertreated despite a lifetime prevalence of 16.6%. This makes pharmacist counseling even more important.
Here are some must-know facts about anxiety:
1. There are several different types of anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders come in different shapes and sizes.
There are 4 major types of anxiety disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Patients with GAD tend to excessively worry about normal, day-to-day issues involving health, family, work, and money. They often jump to the worst-case scenario when analyzing situations.
Panic Disorder
Patients with panic disorder have sudden, crippling attacks of fear when there is no actual danger. These attacks are characterized by feelings of impending doom and loss of control.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is diagnosed when patients feel extremely anxious and self-conscious in everyday social environments. They often fear being judged or watched by others, and they may be easily embarrassed.
Specific Phobia
Specific phobia is characterized by a cutting fear of something that poses little to no danger, such as small spaces, heights, water, objects, and animals. For many patients, simply thinking about facing a fear can trigger a panic attack or severe anxiety.
Other anxiety conditions recognized in the DSM-5 include separation anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, selective mutism, and substance-induced anxiety disorder.