Anxiety is a normal part of human experience. We will all experience anxiety in our lives, and at times it will be intense enough to be disruptive for most of us.
Sometimes anxiety becomes so extreme that it meets the description of one or another of the anxiety disorders. Whether we have an anxiety disorder or not, it can be useful to learn strategies for managing our anxiety.
Notice the wording: Managing anxiety, not conquering anxiety. We will all have some anxiety some of the time, and it can be a useful experience. So really there is nothing to “conquer.” Our goal is to bring anxiety within manageable limits. If we are less fearful of the sensations, and if we ensure that our anxiety does not have much control over our behaviour, anxiety tends to fade to reasonable levels.
Therapy can often help people to work with their own anxiety - usually by pointing out strategies and practices for you to practice on your own, in the situations that spark your anxiety.
In this section we introduce the various types of anxiety problem. Each is framed as a disorder, but each can also be troubling in a milder form that does not meet the full description of the disorder itself. Treatment can often be helpful whether or not the problem counts as a full-strength “disorder.”
The Types of Anxiety Problem
- Panic and Agoraphobia
- Social Anxiety
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Generalized Anxiety
- Post Traumatic Stress
- Specific Phobia