Anxiety is characterised by excessive worrying, or a fear that something terrible might happen. There are many forms of anxiety, and some types of anxiety may be quite similar to others. Some people with anxiety may also experience panic attacks.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is a common mental health problem which occurs in around 3% of people. GAD may run in families and can also be caused by stressful life events.
GAD mainly involves frequent worry about a number of different things. It is quite natural to worry about things, however when this becomes very frequent and about things over which we have no control, it can start to have negative effects. For example, it can affect our quality of sleep, concentration, and relaxation.
IAPT services offer talking therapies for GAD that have been recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Exellence (NICE). This means they have been researched and have evidence to support them. You can read what NICE recommend for Generalised Anxiety Disorder here.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. In its mildest form it may simply be a nuisance that more time than usual is spent washing or checking or arranging things, or that unwelcome thoughts, perhaps of an embarrassing or shameful nature are hard to get rid of.
OCD is made up of obsessions and compulsions. An obsession is usually a repetative thought which might cause you some distress, for example the thought or image of a family member dying. A compulsion is the action you feel you must do in response to the thought, for example checking the oven is switched off.
Although it is common for people to check things around the house, or have worries about the people they love, in OCD the compulsion may be repeated a lot, for example unplugging a plug socket 7 times. It may also be unrelated to the worry, for example turning the light switch on and off to prevent a family member from dying.
Compulsions may help you become less anxious after a horrible thought, however they can start to take over and prevent you from getting on with your life.
You can read more about OCD at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma website (CADAT).
IAPT services offer talking therapies for OCD that have been recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Exellence (NICE). This means they have been researched and have evidence to support them. You can read what NICE recommend for obsessive Compulsive Disorder here.