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Anxiety Disorder: What’s Normal and What Isn’t

It is normal to feel anxious or nervous every now and then. For example, you may feel anxious about an important meeting at work or an upcoming examination. How do I know if I have an Anxiety disorder?

What are Anxiety Disorder?

If anxiety persists for an extended period of time and affects your day-to-day living, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder can be debilitating conditions that affect both our physical and mental well-being, but they can be managed with the help of a psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor.

Types of Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

A person with this type of anxiety disorder has excessive worries about everyday matters for a long period of time (typically 5-6 months or more). Some other symptoms of GAD include fatigue, irritability, restlessness, trouble concentrating, muscle tension and sleep disturbances. Such a person may also have trouble making commitments, and find it tough to decide on day-to-day matters.

Panic disorder 

When one experiences recurrent panic attacks. Panic attacks are a sudden surge of intense discomfort/fear that reaches a peak within minutes.

Specific Phobias

a phobia is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of something, such as the fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of open spaces (agoraphobia), fear of insects (entomophobia) and fear of people not of your own kind (xenophobia).

Post-traumatic stress disorder

This occurs as a result of overwhelming stress from a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, physical or sexual abuse, or seeing a loved one die in an accident.


General symptoms of anxiety disorder include:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold, numb/ tingly hands and feet
  • Chest pain/ discomfort
  • ​Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulties remaining calm and staying still
  • Fear, panic, and feelings of uneasiness

Around 100,000 persons in Singapore suffer from anxiety disorder during their lifetime. On average, they wait for six years before seeking help. (Singapore Mental Health Study, 2010)

Are you or someone you know struggling with an anxiety disorder? Call (65) 9060 3418 or email to speak with a counselor.

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