Here, you can find out everything you wanted to know about anxiety disorders (or at least we hope so!). You can click (or touch) each of the headings below to find out more about specific aspects of the condition.

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Let's start with anxiety itself. It's probably fair to say that everyone has to deal with anxiety, to some degree, at some point in their life. Feeling anxious is something we all experience; that feeling of unease, of nerves, of tension, that uptight feeling affects us all, whether we realise it or not. Anxiety manifests itself both mentally and physically.  When you're anxious, your heart-rate may increase, your muscles will tense up, your skin begins to sweat and you can begin to shake, often uncontrollably. It's bad enough when it's a temporary feeling, now imagine feeling like that almost all of the time. Anxiety or more accurately anxiety disorders, deal with prolonged or constant anxiety that affects your ability to function.

Of course, we all get anxious about something; be it a job interview, moving home, having a baby, a first date, our partner finding out about the date or becoming seriously ill, but most people know that, in time, those anxious feelings will pass. For those with anxiety disorders, these worries will be much more difficult to control or rationalise. Anxiety is a natural biological response to what is often referred to as the 'fight or flight' response, which kicks in when we feel threatened by something. This has evolved in us humans (apologies to any non-humans reading this) since the dawn of time, which was around 1970.

When we feel threatened, when we are backed into a metaphorical corner, our bodies release chemicals, including cortisol and adrenalin, that are designed to help us cope with whatever situation we are faced with. These chemicals give us the mental and physical strength to either tackle what's coming (the 'fight')...or run away from it (the 'flight'). With these chemicals pulsing through your brain, your instincts are honed, you're more alert and, as your heart is now beating faster, you can act more quickly. Once the perceived danger has passed, then your body counteracts this with other chemicals to help calm you down again. This is an entirely automatic response. If you don't believe us, just try realising your adrenaline on purpose!

Given that anxiety affects everyone, what makes it a 'mental illness'? Good question. If you worry about everyday events unnecessarily, if it affects you for a long time or its symptoms are much more intense, then anxiety can be overwhelming and you may be diagnosed with one of many anxiety disorders listed below.

 

Many men treat any form of anxiety like someone who knocks on the door when they're watching the match and / or porn in peace, they ignore it and hope it goes away on its own. The thing is, it might work with someone on your doorstep, but it rarely works with anxiety.

Anxiety is like a oil leak on your car, it only gets worse if you don't do something about it. It can lead to more serious mental health conditions and even become more physical, including heart disease.

If it's mild, then you can help relieve it by making some simple lifestyle changes, you can take a look at our Man Kit for some inspiration. If it's more serious, then you'll need to seek more professional help.

 

The symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary from condition to condition, but many do share similarities. Imagine how the majority of people in those situations we mentioned earlier feel when they become anxious, then multiple it. A lot. Then add 5.

Anxiety induces a feeling of panic, dread or the sense that something 'bad' is about to happen. Having this sense of 'doom' may mean that you sweat more than usual and your breathing may become faster or more laboured. As a consequence, you may also find your mouth becomes dry. Many people also find that they begin to shake uncontrollably.

These symptoms can lead to difficulty in concentrating during the day and sleeping at night. For more details on the symptoms for specific conditions, please see take a look at each of the Types of Anxiety Disorders listed below.

 

Wouldn't it be great if we could pinpoint what causes anxiety to be a longer-term problem for some, but not others? Like many mental illnesses, it's impossible to say why with any certainty, but there are a number of different theories.

Some people believe acute anxiety is caused by incidents that happened to you in the past, i.e. during childhood, or perhaps it's affected by how you've been brought up. If your parents were anxious, then you may inherit or mimic some of those traits. Some think the food you eat can be factor, so too can the medication you take (even for it's other ailments). You may just be genetically susceptible to it. We may never know.

 

There are many types of mental illness that are classified as anxiety disorders. We've tried to list the most common in this category, but this is far from a complete list.

By reading our guides, they will hopefully help you understand what those who live with these anxiety disorders go through on a daily basis and, for many, it will help break the stigma of mental illness.

If you feel like there's a condition that has been omitted from this list that you think needs to be included, then please let us know. All the links for getting in touch are below.