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It relies on exposing the patient to the situation that normally triggers OCD behaviors and helping them learn to forgo these behaviors. Along with ERP, antidepressants from the serotonin reuptake inhibitors group, are considered the first line of treatment for OCD. Phobias are intense, persistent, irrational fears regarding an object, place, or situation. The fears that animate them are disproportionate to the threat posed by the triggering situations.

The paralyzing fears can lead to intense discomfort, anticipatory anxiety, avoidance of triggers, and panic attacks. The most common phobias include archanophobia fear of spiders , ophidiophobia fear of snakes , archophobia fear of heights , agoraphobia fear of open spaces often developed by people with social anxiety , and claustrophobia fear of small spaces. Much like with other anxiety disorders, phobia sufferers are advised to get good sleep.

That can be tricky, to say the least, for those with somniphobia, also known as hypnophobia, which is the irrational fear of sleep.

People afraid to fall asleep are advised to practice healthy sleep hygiene, challenge negative beliefs, meditate, practice deep breathing, and follow other relaxation techniques to learn to feel relaxed and safe before falling asleep. If sleepwalking or sleep apnea are causes of somniphobia, these underlying causes need to be treated first.

Diagnosing phobias often means that the therapist will inquire about the source of fears and compare them against the list of phobias provided in the DSM It can be difficult to differentiate phobias from other disorders with fears of objects of situations at their cores for example, schizophrenia, paranoia, OCD. Paranoia can cause avoidance, much like agoraphobia and social phobias. However, absent in phobias are attributions of ill intent onto others present in paranoia and the hallucinations present in schizophrenia. The paranoid and schizophrenic believer their fears to be rationally based, whereas the phobic know that their fears are unreasonable but are nevertheless unable to control them.

And, unlike people living with OCD, people with phobias do not obsess on them and do not act compulsively. ERP, or therapies featuring exposure to the feared stimuli — such as flooding, systematic desensitization , progressive relaxation, virtual reality immersion , hypnotherapy, counter-conditioning, biofeedback, and modeling — have been proven effective in cases of phobia. While exposure therapy is successful on its own, sometimes initial or occasional use of medications can also help.

Some doctors recommend short-term use of sedatives in specific, infrequent situations such as flying on an airplane or giving a speech such as the fast-acting and short-lasting benzodiazepines. Beta blockers, which block the effects of adrenaline increased heart rate, sweating, shaking voice , are also commonly prescribed for phobias. Self-help methods can also work, sometimes on their own. For ideas, see this Help Guide page. PTSD is a potentially debilitating disorder that results from a shocking, terrifying, or dangerous event or series of events.

People living with PTSD have difficulty recovering from trauma, and often reexperience it over and over.


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They feel stressed or frightened anew each time something brings trauma to mind—even when they are no longer in danger. About 7. Common with war veterans, the disorder is suffered by 67 percent of people exposed to mass violence. Rape is the most likely culprit behind PTSD: 65 percent of men and PTSD commonly robs people of sleep , sometimes inducing a sleep phobia, because of the nightmares that are common with this condition.

Finally, the repeated exposed to graphic details of traumatic events for example, in cases of professional first responders also qualifies as PTSD-initiating history. In most instances, it occurs at the same time as other disorders such as depression. Like with other anxiety disorders, the effective treatments for people living with PTSD are medications, talk therapy, or both. The types of psychotherapy found useful are exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing EMDR , group therapy, and family therapy.

In addition to SSRI antidepressants longer-term stabilizers of emotional responses and tranquilizers short-term anxiety reducers , doctors sometimes use second-line for PTSD include the drug Prazosin Minipress. The medication has been found to decrease nightmares and a reduction in daytime PTSD symptoms.

This effect—observed in a study of active — duty soldiers returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — is attributed the blocking by the drug of the animating neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Panic disorder is an illness characterized by sudden, out-of-the-blue onsets of severe anxiety and panic attacks. The physical symptoms of this acute terror include panic attacks, which manifest as chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.

Panic disorders affect 6 million Americans, or 2. Most of the sufferers are women. Panic attacks can happen during the night, serving a cruel wake-up. Between 50 and 70 percent of people with panic disorder experience at least one nocturnal panic attack. As with the daytime attacks, the nocturnal ones cause the same symptoms and can have no discernable trigger. There is some evidence , however, that sleep disorders themselves can trigger nocturnal panic attacks. It can be understandably hard to return to sleep following a panic attack, but the way to do it is still the same as with getting to sleep at a regular time.

Panic disorder can be confused, by the sufferers themselves, for hypochondria. They can experience shame over having gone to the emergency room fearing death only to learn that there is nothing physically wrong with them. This sometimes prevents them from seeking help. When they do seek help, people living with panic disorder are diagnosed based on the DSM-5 criteria.

Panic disorder is diagnosed in case when panic attacks do not result from substance use intoxication or withdrawal , other medical conditions, or another psychiatric disorder for example, PTSD or social anxiety, which can both produce panic attacks. A very small minority of people with agoraphobia become completely home bound. Cognitive therapy can help people identify triggers and thus restructure the way they think and respond to various stimuli. Sometimes the therapy takes the form of interoceptive exposure, which focuses desensitization on physical sensations that people experience during a panic attack.

According to American Psychological Association, interoceptive exposure can help patients undergo symptoms of a panic attack elevated heart rate, hot flashes, etc. Another technique is in vivo exposure, in which the threatening stages are broken down into tiny, manageable steps and the patient learns to gain control of each one. About 7 percent of children aged have diagnosed anxiety, approximately 4.

Within the first weeks after birth, children can develop anxiety disorders beginning with fear of loss, such as not being in physical contact with a caregiver. Starting at six months, infants may begin to show signs of separation anxiety and cry when left alone in their crib at night.

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Toddlers may develop specific phobias like fear of animals, storms, or the dark. At years old children can experience panic attacks. The most common anxiety disorders seen in children are specific phobia, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder GAD , and separation anxiety disorder.

Post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD , panic disorders, and obsessive—compulsive disorders are relatively rare in children. Parents and teachers may be the first to notice signs of a pediatric anxiety disorder. Some anxiety disorders in children have a duration specification. A social phobia or specific phobia, for example, must occur for six months or more to be officially diagnosed as an anxiety disorder.

50 Things You Can Do Today to Manage Insomnia

Physicians agree that diagnosing anxiety disorders in children can be difficult, but questionnaires and guidelines have significantly improved within the last two decades. Treatment for childhood anxiety disorders typically consists of cognitive behavior therapy CBT or pharmacotherapy meaning using medications as treatment , with CBT being the preferred method and the first line or treatment.

Some children will respond best to a combination of both treatment options. Approximately two-thirds of children treated with CBT will become free of their anxiety diagnosis post-treatment. Parents supporting children with anxiety can follow a few tips to help with managing their anxiety. People with anxiety disorders are in particular need of sleep. Getting good rest at night can help stabilize mood, improve cognitive functioning in areas of learning and memory, and promote the kind rational thinking we all need to put fears and concerns in context.

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Definition People living with generalized anxiety disorder GAD , also known as free-floating anxiety, are prone to an exaggerated sense of worry regarding everyday events. Treatment Like in cases of other anxiety disorders, both talk therapy and medications have been found helpful to the socially anxious. Definition Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a chronic pattern of unwanted, unreasonable, and repetitive thoughts, feelings, ideas, mental images, or sensations obsessions that drive people to repetitive behaviors compulsions.

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Diagnosis Everyone double-checks things and some people prefer more order than others. Definition Phobias are intense, persistent, irrational fears regarding an object, place, or situation. The DSM-5 splits phobias into three categories: Agoraphobia : Irrational anxiety about being in places from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing Social Phobia : Irrational anxiety elicited by exposure to certain types of social or performance situations, also leading to avoidance behavior, which is the same thing as social anxiety disorder Specific Phobia : animal-related, natural environment-related, blood injection or injury-related, situation specific, other type such as choking or vomiting Specific phobias affect 19 million Americans, with women being twice as affected as men.

Diagnosis Diagnosing phobias often means that the therapist will inquire about the source of fears and compare them against the list of phobias provided in the DSM Treatment ERP, or therapies featuring exposure to the feared stimuli — such as flooding, systematic desensitization , progressive relaxation, virtual reality immersion , hypnotherapy, counter-conditioning, biofeedback, and modeling — have been proven effective in cases of phobia.

Definition PTSD is a potentially debilitating disorder that results from a shocking, terrifying, or dangerous event or series of events. Symptoms Intrusive Memories: Recurring memories, flashbacks, nightmares, triggers provoking the reliving of the trauma Avoidance: Refusal to enter situations that remind one of trauma Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood: Inability to feel positive emotions; emotional numbness; hopelessness; memory lapses, including trauma-related amnesia; difficulty maintaining intimate relationships Changes in Emotional Reactions: Angry outbursts, hypervigilance, overwhelming guilt or shame, self-destructive behaviors, suicidal thoughts, being easily startled, difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping PTSD commonly robs people of sleep , sometimes inducing a sleep phobia, because of the nightmares that are common with this condition.

Treatment Like with other anxiety disorders, the effective treatments for people living with PTSD are medications, talk therapy, or both. Definition Source. Definition About 7 percent of children aged have diagnosed anxiety, approximately 4. Symptoms Intense shyness and aversion to interacting with strangers could indicate social phobia. Signs of a specific phobia may be related to natural disasters or extreme weather, such as storms or specific animals, like refusing to go outside for fear of encountering a dog. Withdrawl or extreme shyness when dealing with peers or fear of being rejected by peers are signs of social anxiety disorder.

Separation anxiety symptoms include refusal to fall asleep alone or attend school, camps, sleepovers. This often includes worrying about something bad happening to a parent while separated.

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Children with selective mutism may refuse to speak or interact in situations where speaking is expected or necessary. Instead they may stand motionless, hide, or avoid eye contact. Diagnosis Parents and teachers may be the first to notice signs of a pediatric anxiety disorder. Treatment Treatment for childhood anxiety disorders typically consists of cognitive behavior therapy CBT or pharmacotherapy meaning using medications as treatment , with CBT being the preferred method and the first line or treatment.

A nightlight not only serves as a safety measure for children who walk to the bathroom at night, it will help calm children who are afraid of the dark. A weighted blanket can provide comfort and security, similar to swaddling an infant. The added weight may help children who have difficulty falling asleep because of anxiety to feel comfortable and safe in bed.

Maintaining a consistent bedtime routine will help children with anxiety have a schedule to follow and become comfortable with.