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Anxiety disorders and PTSD

You can get help

If symptoms of anxiety are affecting your life, tell your doctor. A doctor can help figure out whether the symptoms are due to an anxiety disorder or some other illness. Anxiety disorders can get worse if not treated, but treatment very often helps people lead productive, fulfilling lives.

It's natural to feel worried or nervous at times, like before a work presentation or having an operation. But for people with anxiety disorders, everyday situations cause much more worry than most people feel. Often, people with these disorders know their anxiety is extreme, but they can't make the anxious feelings go away.

Types of anxiety disorders include:

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the more common anxiety disorders. Its symptoms include feeling like you are reliving a dangerous experience. Men who serve in combat may develop PTSD. But it also can come from living through any dangerous experience, like an accident or hurricane. Men who have PTSD may experience it differently from women. For example, women with PTSD may feel very jumpy, but men are more likely to feel angry or have problems with alcohol or drugs.

Social phobia, which makes a person feel very strong fear in social situations, also often affects men. It can come up when you need to speak in a large group, for example, and can cause both emotional and physical symptoms, like feeling sick to your stomach.

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Content last updated: January 10, 2011.

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