Anxiety Disorders

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder involves persistent and excessive worry about situations or persons that are out of proportion from the reality.

Case Example: Johnny constantly worries about not being picked up from the daycare by his mom and that something bad happens to her.


  1. Panic Disorder often being triggered by repeated episodes of sudden (usually unexpected and unpredictable) feelings of intense anxiety, fear or terror of that will make a person experience an acute sense of losing control. Some of the noticeable reactions are feelings of impending danger, shortness of breath, heart palpitations or chest pain.

Case Example: Peter will only eat out where he is assured of sitting near an exit since having a panic attack when he was riding a TTC train on his way home.


  1. Separation Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive anxious reactions to being separated from parents or the primary caretaker during the early childhood development.

Example: Jenny often shows reluctance to go to school in the morning out of her fear of separating from her mom and that she will never see her again once her mom is out of her sight.


  1. Specific Phobias are characterized by extreme anxious reactions when one is being exposed to a specific object or situation that prompted a desire to avoid it. Usually, the fear is proportionally greater than the actual danger or threat. Phobias can provoke panic attacks in some people.

Case Example: Mary developed a spider phobia after watching her older sister screamed and ran when a spider accidentally landed on her head from the ceiling.

  1. Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder manifested itself with major symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks that are a direct result of abusing drugs, taking medications, withdrawal from drugs, or all of the above; and anxiety was not there before using drugs or taking medications.

A substance-used anxiety disorder that begins during substance use, and it can last as long as the drug is used. A substance-induced anxiety disorder that begins during withdrawal may stay for a few days to a few weeks after stop using the substance.

Case Example: Bob does not drink regularly even though he did when he was at his early twenties. Now when Bob drinks, he will drink excessively until he will get sick. He will then stops totally for a few months. This pattern of drinking continues and has become a part of Bob’s life style. Bob often complains about having anxiety attacks whenever he started drinking, and he cannot understand why he will still feel so much anxiety despite of being sober for a few weeks. 


DISCLAIMER: Description of each of the mental issue is intended for a quick reference only. You are advised not to use it for self-diagnosis. If you have concerns about your mental health conditions, you are advised to seek medical advice from your family doctor or from a psychiatrist. If you already have a confirmed diagnosis of a mental health issue and you are considering counselling as an alternative treatment, you are encouraged not to stop taking medications without discussing and consulting with your family doctor or psychiatrist. Please also mention to your medical professionals about seeking counselling if you can.