Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety is a mental illness caused by intense fear of social situations. Although it’s possible for social anxiety to improve with age, most people need to complete some type of treatment program to learn how to manage the disorder. People with social anxiety may experience the following:
- Fear of criticism
- Worrying about social events
- Sweating or blushing
- Panic attacks
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Like other mental health conditions associated with anxiety, separation anxiety disorder causes a significant amount of worry. This type of anxiety occurs in response to an intense fear of being separated from loved ones. People with separation anxiety may feel afraid to be alone or worry that their loved ones will be harmed if they’re not together. Although separation anxiety is most common in children, it can also occur in adults, resulting in crying, physical illness, nightmares, irritability or refusal to be separated from loved ones.
Many objects and situations can trigger intense fear, so spiders, snakes, blood, flying and heights may all result in severe anxiety. In addition to debilitating fear, a phobia may cause dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, upset stomach, increased heart rate or heart palpitations.
Agoraphobia is characterised by an intense fear of entering a crowded place, being in a place that would be difficult to escape from, leaving home or entering open spaces. People with agoraphobia may have difficulty attending social functions, avoid amusement parks and other crowded places, experience anxiety in enclosed spaces or have difficulty leaving the house to work, attend classes or run errands. When confronted with a frightening situation, someone with agoraphobia may feel sick or experience sweating, rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing.
Panic disorder is characterised by frequent panic attacks, which are episodes of intense fear that come on suddenly. Some people have panic attacks after exposure to a specific stimulus, while others experience panic attacks for no discernible reason. During a panic attack, it’s common to experience palpitations, sweating, trembling, feelings of “impending doom” and shortness of breath.