Anxiety Disorder Medical Terminology

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  • 0:01 Anxiety Disorder
  • 0:42 GAD & OCD
  • 2:13 PTSD and Panic
  • 3:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson defines anxiety disorders and covers their very basic aspects. These include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Anxiety Disorder

Like headaches, most of us seem to experience anxiety from time to time. Anxiety is the body's response to a real or perceived danger. But there are people who have persistent headaches, almost all of the time. And there are people who are anxious almost all of the time as well.

In the latter case, such individuals may have an anxiety disorder, any one of various psychiatric disorders characterized by an inappropriate, excessive, and long-lasting fear and worry about real and perceived internal or external dangers. There are many anxiety disorders, some of which are covered right here.


One type of anxiety disorder is aptly named. It is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a chronic (long-lasting) condition marked by excessive and unrealistic worry about life circumstances. People with GAD experience anxiety even when there is really nothing that should provoke it. As a result, they are often restless, fatigued, have tense muscles, and experience sleep disturbances of one kind or another.

Again, we all worry about things in life, but when it interferes with life and is essentially baseless, that's when there's a problem. And we all worry about different things. For example, I sometimes worry about whether or not I left the stove on prior to leaving my home. That's okay. It's normal to worry about that so long as it doesn't massively interfere with life.

However, had I been repeatedly getting up out of bed every night to check that the stove was off when it clearly was, causing myself fatigue and my work performance to suffer as a result, then that would be a problem. Such thoughts and actions may actually be part of another condition called obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a disorder marked by recurrent and unwanted obsessions and/or compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent, unreasonable, and invasive thoughts, while compulsions are repetitive behaviors stemming from unwanted impulses to act.

PTSD and Panic

Sometimes, the disorder individuals develop seems to come out of nowhere and may have no basis, as with generalized anxiety disorder. But in other cases, there is a deep underlying event that has triggered the anxiety disorder. This is showcased by PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

This is a disorder that affects people who have undergone or witnessed very traumatic events. This can include military combat, hostage situations, violence and abuse, and so forth. People with PTSD relive the event, have difficulty concentrating, and suffer from sleep disorders.

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