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What are Anxiety Disorders?

Feeling anxious at times is a normal part of life. It can even be helpful when it alerts you to danger. Anxiety becomes a disorder when it occurs frequently, feels intense, lasts hours or even days, and begins to interfere with your daily life, like school, work, sleep, and important relationships. This type of anxiety can greatly reduce your enjoyment of life, and may even lead to health problems.1, 2

There are many types of anxiety disorders that may be causing changes in your behaviour, thoughts, emotions, and physical health. These include panic disorder, social phobias, specific phobias, acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.2, 3

These disorders all have one thing in common: they can generally be treated by medications, counselling, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these things. So take heart, and read on for more information.1