1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

"I always thought I was just a worrier. I'd feel keyed up and unable to relax. At times it would come and go, and at times it would be constant. It could go on for days. I'd worry about what I was going to fix for a dinner party, or what would be a great present for somebody. I just couldn't let something go".
When my problems were at their worst, I'd miss work and feel just terrible about it. Then I worried that I'd lose my job. My life was miserable until I got treatment.
"I'd have terrible sleeping problems. There were times I'd wake up wired in the middle of the night. I had trouble concentrating, even reading the newspaper or a novel. Sometimes I'd feel a little lightheaded. My heart would race or pound. And that would make me worry more. I was always imagining things were worse than they really were. When I got a stomachache, I'd think it was an ulcer" (National Institute of Mental Health, Anonymous, 2010).

A person with GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER has excessive worry, and difficulty controlling their worries. Impairment in social, occupational, health, and family functioning are the primary areas that a person with GAD experiences (DSM-IV-TR, 2010).

More information on GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders can be found at DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349.3508.

Excessive anxiety and worry for 6 months or more about a number of events or activities
  • Difficulty in controlling worry
  • At least three of these symptoms: (1) restlessness or feeling all keyed up; (2) becoming fatigued easily; (3) difficulty concentrating; (4) irritability; (5) muscle tension; (6) sleep disturbance
  • Significant distress or impairment
  • Anxiety is not limited to one specific issue
Source: ( Durand, Barlow, & Stewart, 2008).

In the following YouTube video, Dr. Matthew H. Erdelyi, Ph.D., professor of Psychology at Brooklyn College, discusses symptoms and diagnosis of GAD.

(YouTube, 2007)


"For me, a panic attack is almost a violent experience. I feel disconnected from reality. I feel like I'm losing control in a very extreme way. My heart pounds really hard, I feel like I can't get my breath, and there's an overwhelming feeling that things are crashing in on me".
"It started 10 years ago, when I had just graduated from college and started a new job. I was sitting in a business seminar in a hotel and this thing came out of the blue. I felt like I was dying".
"In between attacks there is this dread and anxiety that it's going to happen again. I'm afraid to go back to places where I've had an attack. Unless I get help, there soon won't be anyplace where I can go and feel safe from panic" (National Institute of Mental Health, Anonymous. 2010).

DEFINITION: The DSM-IV describes a PANIC DISORDER as an "intense fear or discomfort, in which four (or more) of the following symptoms develop abruptly and reach a peak within 10 minutes.
  1. palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  2. sweating
  3. trembling or shaking
  4. sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  5. feeling of choking
  6. chest pain or discomfort
  7. nausea or abdominal distress
  8. feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  9. derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
  10. fear of losing control or going crazy
  11. fear of dying
  12. paresthesias (numbness or tingling sensations)
  13. chills or hot flushes

More information of PANIC ATTACKS from the Diagnosic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders can be found at
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349.3082

The following is a link to a CBS News Video that talks about PANIC DISORDERS. It has actual footage of a man having a PANIC ATTACK on an Air Canada flight between Toronto and London. He felt like he was trapped and about to die. Clinical Psychologist Jeff Gardere talks about what was done by fellow pasengers, and what could have been done.
http://www.cbs.com/thunder/player/tv/index.php?partner=tvcom&pid=TSCFiysx3sjJx1CPQdHdnnpIn225NrZy (CBS News, 2007).

This "You Tube" video describes the symptoms of a panic attack, while at the same time shows the faces of many people who have had panic attacks.


"I'm scared to death of flying, and I never do it anymore. I used to start dreading a plane trip a month before I was due to leave. It was an awful feeling when that airplane door closed and I felt trapped. My heart would pound, and I would sweat bullets. When the airplane would start to ascend, it just reinforced the feeling that I couldn't get out. When I think about flying, I picture myself losing control, freaking out, and climbing the walls, but of course I never did that. I'm not afraid of crashing or hitting turbulence. It's just that feeling of being trapped. Whenever I've thought about changing jobs, I've had to think, 'Would I be under pressure to fly?' These days I only go places where I can drive or take a train. My friends always point out that I couldn't get off a train travelling at high speeds either, so why don't trains bother me? I just tell them it isn't a rational fear" (National Institute of Mental Health, Anonymous. 2010).

Diagnostic criteria for 300.29 SPECIFIC PHOBIAS
  1. Marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation.
  2. Exposure to the phobic stimulus almost invariably provokes an immediate anxiety response, which may take the form of a situationally bound or situationally predisposed Panic Attack.
  3. The person recognizes that the fear is excessive or unreasonable.
  4. The phobic situation(s) is avoided or else is endured with intense anxiety or distress.
  5. The avoidance, anxious anticipation, or distress in the feared situation(s) interferes significantly with the person's normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or social activities or relationships, or there is marked distress about having the phobia.
  6. In individuals under age 18 years, the duration is at least 6 months.
  7. The anxiety, Panic Attacks, or phobic avoidance associated with the specific object or situation are not better accounted for by another mental disorder, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.(DSM-IV-TR, 2010)

More information on SPECIFIC PHOBIAS from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders can be found at
DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349.3222

The following link called the "Phobia List" was originally compiled in 1995 by a man named Fredd Culbertson. He admits he has no medical background, but his interest is in "etymology", the study of the background of words. After years of research, on July 17, 1995 he compiled this extensive list of 530 different phobias, and what they mean. His interest is in the names only, and all his credits are listed on the website link. They include medical dictionaries, almanacs, and thesauruses. If a name could not be found in a reference book, it is not included. (Culbertson, 1995).
The link is: http://phobialist.com/

Out of the 530 phobias listed in the "Phobia List", the following are a few chosen that relates to school.

DIDASKALEINOPHOBIA is known as the "SCHOOL PHOBIA". This is when the student encounters extreme anxiety of having to attend school. Although most prevelant among children, particularly when there is major stress from causes such as moving to a new area, divorce or bereavement, it can actually affect students of all ages. The anxiety triggers of high school and college age students are from tougher academics and exams, and a falling out with friends. This leads to an avoidance of classes, and a possible dropping out of school.(Lifewise Publishing, 2010).

ERGOPHOBIA is basicly an abnormal and persistent FEAR OF WORK. It is derived directly from the Greek word "ergon" (work) and "phobos" (fear). Sufferers of ergo phobia experience undue anxiety about the workplace environment, even though they realize their fear is irrational (Medicine Net, 2010). The term was coined by a doctor names WD Spanton when he wrote about it in the British Medical Journal in 1905. Ergophobia actually accounts for much of that anxious Monday morning feeling or those post holiday blues as we come in to work or classes at school.(Quinion, 2010).

EPISTEMOPHOBIA is a FEAR OF KNOWLEDGE. We have all encountered suituations where knowing less about an issue was less problematic. This could be about the relationship of others, the right way to perform a technical trade or even how to bake Grandma's best recipe. For the EPISTEMOPHOBE ignorance of certain topics is a pursuit.
A EPISTEMOPHOBE will keep things at a very basic level. This does not mean they are not intelligent, but they are very protective about their own personal knowledge base. They will likely excuse themselves from conversations that provide large doses of information. This can result in social anxiety. Symptoms for EPISTEMOPHOBIA are much similiar to that of Social Phobia. Some which include elevated heart rate, trembing, nausea, and an urge to flee
Too much knowledge can instill a sense of responsibility. For the EPISTEMOPHOBE there may be a feeling that they cannot accept such a weight of responsibility. They enjoy their limited knowledge and really want to left alone (Fear of Stuff, 2010).
TESTOPHOBIA is the FEAR OF TAKING TESTS. Taking tests is generally a source of anxiety for everyone.Walking into an examination room and knowing your life will be affected depending how well you did on a test can cause panic and distress in many people. Keeping calm and applying your knowledge to the questions on the exam becomes very difficult when your brain and body are flooded with stress and tension.
The more a person worries about the results, the more anxious they will be about writing tests and examinations. A poor student will tend to dread tests as a matter of course.
Excellent students who study hard and know the coursework worry that the questions presented will be different than the things they studied. They worry that they will freeze and forget vital information. They also may worry about time constraints, and the ability to express their thoughts and explain their answers in esay questions.
The ramifications of failing certain tests can be very hard to take. It can mean whether or not we receive scholarship money. It can also mean whether or not we get or don't get extrance into a certain university program. If your dreams are tied up with the results of certain tests, it can be crushing when your result does not allow you to persue the thing you want.
If you have this phobia, the thought of taking a test or exam will trigger a panic attack. You will feel sweaty, nervous and upset. Your heart may race, and you will feel emotional and out of control. You will find it hard to cope with any task while these symptoms are flooding your body. You will feel nauseous and possibly lightheaded (Fear of stuff, 2010)

GLOSSOPHOBIA is the FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Statistics suggest that 75% of all
Americans suffer from "stage fright" to some degree. many of these millions will avoid attending any event if there is even the slightest hint that they might be singled out to say something or be the object of attention. Nausea and panic are common conditions of those who suffer from GLOSSOPHOBIA.
The following are tips for overcoming your fear of sharing your thoughts in a public setting.public-speaking-150x150.jpg
  • Do your research.
  • Make sure you know your topic thoroughly.
  • Don't try to wing it.
  • Fill out and use flashcards to help you keep on track with your topic.
  • Don't become tied to your notes.
  • Rehearse in front of a mirror, family or friends.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

Like most fears, public speaking is a phobia that can be addressed. Your fears may seem irrational to others, but real and debilitating to you. It could be that in college you are in a position that require group presentations. Accept the help of others and insist that personal failure is not an option (Fear of Stuff, 2010).

Groups like http://www.toastmasters.org/ can help provide opportunities to learn the skills and confidence needed to become an effective speaker.


a thousand facesthumbnail.jpg
and twice as many eyes
drawing nearer is the monent
that I know inside and out
a thousand feelings
and twice as many doubts
approaching the door to my house
I know it's inside
I never stay out long (Mannaard, n.d.)
(Anxiety Disorders Ontario, 2010)
AGORAPHOBIA: Fear of open spaces, or of being in crowded public places like markets. Fear of leaving a safe place. (Mannaard, n.d.)

Coming up with a definition for the word AGORAPHOBIA has been extremely daunting and confusing. That is because it is a very old, ancient word, but as generations and society change, the meaning of the word also can change. Most dictionaries have a meaning like "an abnormal dread of open spaces". (Agoraphobia," n.d., p.28). This is due to the word being derived from the ancient Greek words "agora"
which means marketplace, and "phobos"
which means fear. So the literal meaning would be, "fear of the marketplace" (Baker, 2007). In ancient times the marketplace was in fact held in wide open spaces where it would be hard to hide or escape. Nowadays, in modern society there is a whole array of new different places where it would be very hard for a person to escape. Some examples would be elevators, buses, airplanes, and hot stuffy rooms..

A more current definition of the word AGORAPHOBIA would be something like this:"a fear of losing emotional, or physical control, in a place or situation where a return to the sufferer's safe zone may be difficult, embarrassing or, indeed impossible" (Baker, 2007).

(Veer Photography, 2009) http://images.veer.com/IMG/PILL/IZI/IZI0011245_P.JPG

From the DSM-IV, AGORAPHOBIA Is defined as:
A: Avoidance of places or situations from which escape might be difficult (or embarrassing)
B. Help may not be available in the event of a panic attack or panic like symptoms
C: The situations are avoided
D: The phobic avoidance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder

Agoraphobia comes in two forms:
Agoraphobia with panic disorder
Agoraphobia without panic disorder
(DSM-IV-TR, 2010)

More information on AGROPHOBIA from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders can be found at: DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349.3082

    75% or more of people reported to have AGORAPHOBIA are women
  • 3.5% of the population are said to have panic disorder
  • An additional 5.3% meet the criteria for AGORAPHOBIA (Durand, Barlow, Stewart, 2008)

The main symptoms would feel as if you are having a heart attack, or you are choking and unable to breathe. Because of this, many people with AGORAPHOBIA develop a fear of having a medical emergency with no one around to rush them to the hospital (Agoraphobia Resource Center, 2006).

To sign up for a free on-line newsletter that helps deal with AGORAPHOBIA log on to http://www.agoraphobiahelp.com/

People with social anxiety disorder are only afraid of situations that include other people.
People with agoraphobia are afraid of being anywhere other than their safe place. This can be in the presence or absence of other people (Agoraphobia Resource Center, 2006).

The modern rock band "Incubus", who are known for bringing in the Millenium at Times Square in New York City play the song "AGORAPHOBIA" in this link. A simple cartoon by Pat Mulcahy on You Tube accompanies the song. ENJOY!!!!!