People have different habits and needs when it comes to order and cleanliness: some people just like to clean their house because it creates a sense of peace and security. Many of us may sometimes feel like we forgot to turn the stove off or have the mental image of accidentally stumbling and breaking our nose suddenly pop into our brain.
If a person starts doing these activities daily and having these intrusive thoughts, often at the most inappropriate times, it may be a sign of a disorder.
PTSD occurs as a result of experiencing trauma, more often in cases of personal trauma, but sometimes also when the traumatic event happens to a loved one or is randomly witnessed second-hand. Traumatic events are events which induce feelings of fear, horror, and helplessness – for example, natural disasters, traffic accidents, experiencing or witnessing violence.
A diagnosis of PTSD can be made when the symptoms have been present for over a month and are significantly affecting life and the ability to cope.
Social phobia can sometimes also take the form of fearing most social situations in general – being among strangers, talking to people who are older, wiser or hold a higher position than oneself, starting conversations, or going to parties.
Some worrying about one thing or another from time to time is a pretty common occurrence. A person can be said to be suffering from generalised anxiety disorder if they are constantly anxious or worried about one or several important facets of their life such as money, family, work matters, school, health. If the worrying has lasted for at least six months and is preventing the person from coping, it is considered a disorder. As a rule, such worrying is excessive, things which are feared are relatively unlikely to happen, and the worrying is not under the person’s control – they cannot just push their troubling thoughts aside. They also often begin worrying about worrying after a while.
The main symptom of panic disorder is the occurrence of disturbing waves of fear during which a person may experience palpitations or a rapid pulse, breathlessness, feelings of suffocation, chest pain, nausea or stomach ache, weakness, dizziness or fainting, a feeling of surrealness, a fear of losing self-control, death, or going insane, sweating, shaking, tingling in the arms and legs, chills, or hot flashes.
Although panic attacks are the central concept of panic disorder, a one-time occurrence does not necessarily indicate the presence of a mental disorder; however, it is definitely a sign that the person should focus their attention to their mental health and well-being.