Panic disorder is characterized by chronic, repeated, and unexpected panic attacks - bouts of overwhelming fear of being in danger when there is no specific cause for the fear. In-between panic attacks, persons with panic disorder worry excessively about when and where the next attack may occur.
Panic attacks can accompany several types of anxiety disorders - not only panic disorder. The following are the most common symptoms of a panic attack. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an unreasonable thought, fear, or worry that he or she tries to manage through a ritualized activity to reduce the anxiety. Frequently occurring disturbing thoughts or images are called obsessions, and the rituals performed to try to prevent or dispel them are called compulsions.
Obsessions are irrational thoughts, fears, or worries that frequently recur and cause great anxiety, but cannot be controlled through reasoning. Common obsessions include the following:
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An extreme preoccupation with dirt or germs
Repeated doubts (for example, about having turned off the burners on a stove)
A need to have things in a very particular order
Thoughts about violence or hurting someone
Spending long periods of time touching things or counting
Preoccupation with order or symmetry
Persistent thoughts of performing repugnant sexual acts
Troubled by thoughts that are against personal religious beliefs