Individuals experience recurrent and unexpected panic attacks which are followed by chronic concerns about having another panic attack or fear of the implications of the panic attack such as dying.
Agoraphobia (with or without panic disorder)
Sufferers are anxious about being in a situation where escape may be difficult should a panic attack occur or in which help may not easily be available . This usually leads to avoidance of certain situations such as shopping centres, cinemas, crowded places or travelling alone.
Sufferers are anxious about being scrutinised, judged or evaluated by others in case they do something humiliating or show obvious symptoms of anxiety. The anxiety usually leads to avoidance of certain situations such as eating in public, speaking or writing in front of others. Alcohol is often used by these individuals for ‘Dutch courage’ and can lead to abuse or addiction.
Sufferers have a persistent and irrational fear of a particular object or situation, for example, a fear of heights, fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), fear of spiders or snakes. The fear usually leads to avoidance of those situations or objects.
Generalised anxiety disorder
Sufferers worry excessively and persistently about a number of areas of their lives, such as their family, health, work or finances.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Sufferers experience unpleasant and intrusive obsessional thoughts that are difficult to control, such as concern about germs, fear of harming family members or committing acts which are totally out of character. Many sufferers develop uncontrollable compulsions to perform certain behaviours or rituals such as hand washing rituals or checking doors and windows a certain number of times or counting, arranging or doing things in a specific rigid order.