There was a time when basic things—like driving, climbing a flight of stairs, taking a shower, or going through the checkout line at the grocery store—landed me somewhere between mortal unease and full-throttle terror. It all began with a single panic attack that seemed to strike out of the blue. Mistaking it for a heart attack, I called an ambulance, but I quickly learned that there is no ambulance for an alarm of the mind.
My earliest childhood memories are of constant fear. A skinny kid with crooked teeth, somewhat shy and reserved with social anxiety, I was an easy target for bullies, which made my issues even more difficult to handle. I never spoke to anyone about my feelings because I felt they were my fault.
Childhood anxiety, even severe and chronic, doesn’t necessarily stand in the way of success and achievement. But caring parents will do anything to help relieve their children of misery. Scott Stossel, the editor of The Atlantic magazine, tells his story of struggling, coping, and living a very productive life.Read
A harrowing and traumatic childhood brought on debilitating panic attacks in adulthood. Find out the unique way she triumphed over them.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is a condition characterized by persistent, excessive, uncontrollable and unrealistic worry about everyday things. Individuals meeting criteria for GAD mostly worry about the same material that the average person worries about, such as finances, their health and the health of their loved ones, and safety concerns, but people diagnosed with GAD spend much more time worrying. Whereas a healthy person may worry up to an hour a day, it is usually 3 to 10 hours per day for a person with GAD.
Help us spread the word about the benefits of treatment for anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and related disorders — for children and teens, women, college students, military and military families.
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Ailsa Russell, PhD
Clinical Director for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
University of Bath
Dr. Russell addresses treatment approaches for people with OCD and autism spectrum disorders. Her research with colleagues at Kings College London has focused on studies of people with autism, in particular trying to adapt or develop effective psychological interventions for anxiety, OCD, and other emotional disorders.