Well, I couldn’t find a medical definition of anxiety in general, but here is one from a dictionary:
[ ang zī́ ətee ]
feeling of worry: nervousness or agitation, often about something that is going to happen
something that worries somebody: a subject or concern that causes worry
strong wish to do something: the strong wish to do something, especially if the wish is unnecessarily or unhealthily strong
If you want to know about the various type of anxiety disorders, here is the definition for generalized and social.
Definition of anxiety disorders:
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with ANXIETY DISORDERSfrequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Often, anxiety disorders involve repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and CONTINUE into adulthood.
Examples of anxiety disorders include SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER (social phobia), specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder. A person can have more than one anxiety disorder.
Sometimes anxiety results from a medical condition that needs treatment. Whatever form of anxiety you have, treatment can help.
Social Anxiety Disorder:
Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an ANXIETY DISORDER in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged, and criticized by others.
A person with social anxiety disorder is afraid that he or she will make mistakes, look bad, and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations. The anxiety can build into a panic attack. As a result of the fear, the person endures certain social situations in extreme distress or may avoid them altogether. In addition, people with SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER often suffer “anticipatory” anxiety — the fear of a situation before it even happens — for days or weeks before the event. In many cases, the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable, yet is unable to overcome it.
People with SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about social situations and the negative opinions of others. Without treatment, SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER can negatively interfere with the person’s normal daily routine, including school, work, social activities, and relationships.
People with social ANXIETY DISORDER may be afraid of a specific situation, such as speaking in public. However, most people with SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER fear more than one social situation. Other situations that commonly provoke anxiety include:
- Eating or drinking in front of others.
- Writing or working in front of others.
- Being the center of attention.
- Interacting with people, including dating or going to parties.
- Asking questions or giving reports in groups.
- Using public toilets.
- Talking on the telephone.
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER may be linked to other mental illnesses, such as panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anddepression. In fact, many people with SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDERinitially see the doctor with complaints related to these disorders, not because of social anxiety symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder?
Many people with social anxiety disorder feel that there is “something wrong,” but don’t recognize their feeling as a sign of illness. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include:
- Intense anxiety in social situations.
- Avoidance of social situations.
- Physical SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY, including confusion, pounding heart, sweating, shaking, blushing, muscle tension, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
Children with this disorder may express their anxiety by crying, clinging to a parent, or throwing a tantrum.
How Common Is Social Anxiety Disorder?
Social anxiety disorder is the second most common type of anxiety disorder (after specific phobias) and the third most common mental disorder in the U.S., after depression and alcohol dependence. An estimated 19.2 million Americans have social anxiety disorder. The disorder most often surfaces in adolescence or early adulthood, but can occur at any time, including early childhood. It is more common in women than in men.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
What is generalized anxiety disorder?
Generalized anxiety disorder occurs when you feel worried and stressed about many everyday events and activities. Often the things you are worried about are small or not important. This type of worry disrupts your life most days. Everyone gets worried or anxious sometimes. But people with generalized anxiety disorder experience more than normal everyday worries.
Anyone can get GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDERat any age. But it usually starts when you are a child or teenager. Most people with GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDERhave felt nervous or anxious as long as they can remember. About 5% of people haveGENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDERat some time.1 Women are twice as likely as men to have the problem.
Many people with GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDERalso have other problems such asdepression, other anxiety illnesses (obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or social anxiety disorder), alcohol abuse, or personality disorder.
What causes generalized anxiety disorder?
The cause of generalized anxiety disorder is not known. Some studies show that it might be passed through the family (genetic).
Some medicines can cause worry and stress or make your stress worse, such as medicines with amphetamines (Ritalin) or too much caffeine. Illegal drugs such as cocaine can also cause these symptoms. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any medicines you are taking.
What are the symptoms?
People who have generalized anxiety disorder get worried and stressed about many things almost every day. They have a hard time controlling their worry. Adults with this problem often worry about money, family, health, or work. Children with this problem often worry about how well they can do an activity, such as school or sports.
You might also have physical symptoms, such as:
Feeling TIRED or irritable, or having a hard time concentrating.
Having HEADACHES or muscle aches.
Having a hard time swallowing.
Feeling shaky, sweating, or having hot flashes.
Feeling lightheaded, sick to your stomach, or out of breath.
Having to go to the bathroom often.
Feeling like you can’t relax, or being startled easily.
Having problems falling or staying asleep.
How is generalized anxiety disorder diagnosed?
To find out if you have this problem, your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and how long you have had them. Your doctor will also do a physical exam, ask questions about your medical history, and ask questions about medicines you are taking. This information helps your doctor find out whether you have any other condition.
To be diagnosed with GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER, you must have more worry and stress than normal. You must feel worried and stressed about many things almost every day. And these feelings must last for at least 6 months. You will also have some physical symptoms. The worry, stress, and physical symptoms might make it hard for you to do normal activities such as going to work every day or doing grocery shopping.
Hope this is what you want!