Discriminating Among Anxiety Disorders

An automatically generated link led me to a very nice old post at We Worry: A Blog for the Anxious about discriminating between anxiety disorders. Apparently weworry.com received some accolades last year (see the website), so you might want to check it out, particularly if you have questions about anxiety. For instance, If you click back to their homepage there’s another nice post titled, “Feel the Fear.” The post mentioned earlier, titled “What’s in a Diagnosis?” starts like this:

One of the most commonly heard questions on internet anxiety-support forums is some variation of: “Is this Generalized Anxiety or Panic Disorder?” Much discussion revolves around the diagnoses and their symptoms, yet the most important thing you will ever learn about your diagnosis is this: it’s largely irrelevant. Aside from the insurance companies and the FDA’s medication standards, your diagnosis has little bearing on your recovery.

The anxiety disorders fall on a spectrum and there is rarely an individual who shows signs of one without showing signs of another. Many people ultimately diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) typically show signs of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For example, many GADers experience chronic, nagging fears about their health (mental or physical); this is sometimes referred to as hypochondriasis or “health anxiety.” You may not realize it, but your constant thinking and analyzing of physical or mental symptoms is actually a ritual. So is your constant need for reassurance. If you find new symptoms and then rigorously search for relief from Dr. Google, then you’re performing a ritual. We often know this ritual won’t help much, but we can’t help it, we just have to know about the disease we fear so much.

Check out the rest of the post here. Again, the site seems like a good place to start if you’re interested in anxiety.


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Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

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