Dr. Lindsay Kiriakos is a prominent psychiatrist working in Los Angeles California. He comes from a family of psychological professionals and he has had an overpowering fascination with mental health and the processes of the mind since early childhood. Dr. Kiriakos suffered from generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety at a young age, which provided the motivation to specialize in the treatment of these types of mental conditions. Today, Dr. Lindsay Kiriakos is a respected expert in this area of theory and treatment.
We asked Dr. Kiriakos which anxiety disorders are most common and why. Here is some of what we learned:
Dr. Lindsay Kiriakos Discusses 5 Common Anxiety Disorders:
Dr. Kiriakos explains that anxiety can be described as a state of mental worry and/or physical stress that is frequent and persistent. He tells us that it can trigger the sympathetic nervous system into keeping a person in a fight-or-flight state which, if intense or prolonged enough, can lead to fatigue, insomnia, and poor concentration. Dr. Kiriakos elaborates that, “Some of the most common anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, performance/presentation anxiety, and social phobia.”
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
This most common form of anxiety disorder is typified by excessive, hard-to-control worry. Sufferers are often anxious about things that are beyond their control and are frustrated by their inability to relax. They have difficulty shutting off their brains when they are worrying, and it feels as though their minds are always looking for something to worry about. As with most anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder has a self-perpetuating character. It can start to feel like normal when has gone on long enough, even though it is continuing to impact a person’s happiness and productivity.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
OCD is characterized by intrusive and irrational thoughts or fears as well as impulses to perform actions to neutralize those thoughts and fears. Common manifestations are persistent compulsions to wash one’s hands, check for mistakes, put things in a certain order, repeat activities, and so on. These behaviors can take nearly any form but are often oriented toward reducing internal discomfort, protecting personal safety, and preventing harm to others. There are also purely obsessive forms of OCD where intrusive, specific fears can recur throughout the day, eventually impacting concentration and self-esteem.
Panic disorders are typified by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks. These attacks are known to be very intense, and the sufferer often believes they are dying or losing control. A typical panic attack scenario might begin with a physical sensation that the person believes is a sign of an acute health condition. They may then fear being unable to reach help, becoming incapacitated, and/or being at the mercy of strangers. Dr. Lindsay Kiriakos explains that panic attacks account for a large percentage of emergency room visits, are extremely disturbing, and disruptive to the patient’s day-to-day life. They can also lead to agoraphobia, the avoidance of certain places or situations due to a fear of further panic attacks. This can make driving, traveling, socializing, and even, sometimes, just leaving the house feels like it is next to impossible.
This includes a broad range of phobias centered around the fear of being unable to perform while being observed by others. Common examples include the fear of public speaking, anxiety with sports or musical performances, and also sexual performance anxiety. Sufferers often experience the sudden onset of intense and disruptive physical sensations such as sweating, heart racing, blushing, and/or shakiness when they try to engage in these activities. The anxiety can be so intense that people avoid the triggering activities at all costs, severely limiting their work and personal lives.
Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder
While it is common for people to feel some level of social anxiety, for some, the condition is so strong that it makes healthy, regular social interactions difficult to bear. They experience intense self-consciousness and a fear of negative evaluation when around other people, which can impair their concentration and make it difficult to participate in conversation. This interferes with their capacity to develop positive relationships in both work and personal life. In some cases, it can even interfere with a person’s ability to seek employment, date, or make friends altogether.
Dr. Lindsay Kiriakos explains that cognitive-behavioral therapy, assertiveness training, and, sometimes, prescription medications are all very effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders. He believes that many, if not most people suffer from anxiety at some point in their lives. Dr. Kiriakos believes people should be educated about anxiety and learn effective coping techniques they can use on their own. Most importantly, Dr. Lindsay Kiriakos encourages people not to wait. They can seek help as soon as they recognize that anxiety is having an impact on their lives.