General Anxiety Disorders

Phobias

A General Anxiety Disorder is something that someone is so afraid of something that it interferes with his or her daily life. The most common type of Anxiety Disorders is Phobias. The most common types of Phobias are:

· Claustrophobia – Fear of closed places. Locking a child in a small closet as a punishment has been known to cause this.

· Acrophobia – Fear of high places. This is very common among adults.

· Hydrophobia – Fear of water. This could be caused by having a near death experience that had to do with water as a child.

· Nyctophobia – Fear of the dark. This is common among children but is usually outgrown with maturity.

· Agoraphobia – Fear of open spaces, or crossing a square or field unaccompanied. This is not too common but is not rare either.

The physiological effects of a phobia are very real, and may be acted upon as a real danger to the phobic person. There may be nausea, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, and rapid pulse/respiration. If these reactions are repeated too often, this may cause permanent damage to the victim’s body such as, hypertension and peptic ulcer.
The only way to treat a phobia is by persistent psychotherapy (see a psychologist). The physician and the patient must find out what exactly is being feared. Ignorance perpetuates fears. “True insight can enable the patient eventually to rationalize his fears out of existence.” – Frank P. Mathews

Obsessive – Compulsive Behavior

Another common Anxiety disorder is Obsessive, Compulsive Behavior. This is where someone has to repeat a daily habit so often, that it interferes with his or her life. Such as, you come home and lock the door. Then you go do something and come back in 5 minutes to check and see if you locked the door again. Then about another 5 minutes later, you check and see if you locked the door, only this time you physically turn the locks 3 or 4 times just to see if they still work. This behavior can be very obsessive and can be treated with persistent physiotherapy. Another example of this type of disease is doing the same thing everyday at the exact time. And if this is not repeated everyday, then the patient may become unstable and very unreasonable. A good example of this disease is the movie “As good as it gets”. This movie demonstrates exactly how a person with this disease would act.