When a person's anxiety is overwhelming and affecting their ability to function, it could be due to an anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder are some of the common types.
Symptoms of these mental disorders can differ based on the specific disorder a person has. For example, some types are more likely to cause physical symptoms than others. However, all anxiety disorders are linked together by common symptoms that include excessive, irrational fear and dread.
These disorders tend to run in families; this could be a result of genetics, but it could also be related to the environment in which a child was raised. Approximately twice as many women as men suffer from panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobia, though about equal numbers of women and men have obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia.
(To learn more about the different types, click Anxiety. This full-length article goes into detail about the treatment options that can help control anxiety disorders, as well as other symptoms that could indicate an anxiety disorder.)