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Fear and stress reactions are essential for human survival.

They enable people to pursue important goals and to respond appropriately to danger.

The word is derived from the Latin, , which means to choke or strangle.

The anxiety response is often not triggered by an actual threat or danger.

Nevertheless it can still paralyze someone into inaction or withdrawal.

An anxiety disorder persists, while an appropriate response to a threat resolves, once the threat is removed.

Anxiety disorders are classified according to specific symptoms and behaviors.

Types of anxiety disorders include: The American Psychiatric Association no longer classifies obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as anxiety disorders.

However, because these mental health conditions share some characteristics of anxiety disorders, they are included in this report.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder.

It affects about 5% of Americans over the course of their lifetimes.

It is characterized by: People with GAD often have accompanying symptoms such as sweating, nausea, diarrhea, and an extreme startle response.

They may also have other health conditions associated with stress such as irritable bowel syndrome and headaches.

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