Anxiety disorders, the most common group of mental illnesses, are characterized by severe fear or anxiety associated with particular objects and situations. Most people with anxiety disorders try to avoid exposure to the situation that causes anxiety.
Panic disorder – the sudden onset of paralyzing terror or impending doom with symptoms that closely resemble a heart attack
Phobias – excessive fear of particular objects (simple phobias), situations that expose a person to the possible judgment of others (social phobias), or situations where escape might be difficult (agoraphobia)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder – persistent distressing thoughts (obsessions) that a person attempts to alleviate by performing repetitive, intentional acts (compulsions) such as hand washing
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a psychological syndrome characterized by specific symptoms that result from exposure to terrifying, life-threatening trauma such as an act of violence, war, or a natural disaster