What are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders are a mental illness that exists when a person feels unexpected or unhelpful anxiety regularly. The high level of anxiety and stress impacts their daily living. It can affect any age or person and is often triggered by a specific event or stressful life experience. People experiencing anxiety can discuss its impacts with a doctor, counsellor or mental health worker to obtain a variety of support including medication, counselling, behavioral therapy, support groups and/or self-help strategies.
Common types of anxiety disorders with DSM-5 coding
- Generalized anxiety disorder – DSM-5 code: 300.02
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) – DSM-5 code: 300.23
- Panic disorder – DSM-5 code: 300.01
- Agoraphobia – DSM-5 code: 300.22
- Selective mutism – DSM-5 code: 313.23
- Specific phobia – DSM-5 code: 300.29
- Separation anxiety disorder – DSM-5 code: 309.210
- Anxiety due to another medical condition – DSM-5 code: 293.84
- Substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder – DSM-5 code: 291.89-292.89
Symptoms & common characteristics
- Excessive anxiety and worry with difficulty to control worry with specific events, open spaces, closed spaces, in crowds or with people, and/or related to the use of transportation.
- Restlessness or feeling keyed up/on edge.
- Easily fatigued, irritability, dizziness, lightheadedness and/or faintness.
- Difficulty concentrating; mind going blank.
- Sleep disturbance (falling or staying asleep).
- Panic attacks; heart palpitations, pounding heart or accelerated heart rate.
- Sweating, trembling and/or shaking.
- Shortness of breath or smothering; feeling of choking.
- Fear of losing control, dying, "going crazy".
Centre for Accessibility support for anxiety disorders may include
- Time accommodation for exams
- Separate setting/distraction reduced exam setting
- Listening to CAS approved music during exams
- Note-taking services
- In 2013, an estimated 3 million Canadians (11.6%) aged 18 years or older reported that they had a mood and/or anxiety disorder.
- While the majority consulted a health professional about their disorder(s) in the previous 12 months, almost a quarter (23%) did not. Most people with mood and/or anxiety disorder(s) are currently taking, or have taken, prescription medication(s) (93%), but few (20%) have received psychological counselling to help manage their disorder(s).
- The Canadian release of the 2016 National College Health Assessment (NCHA), a survey of student behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions about their health over the course of 12 months. Nearly 45 percent of students reported feeling so depressed that they had difficulty functioning (up from 38 percent in 2013); 65 percent experienced overwhelming anxiety (up from 57 percent); 13 percent had seriously considered suicide (up from 10 percent); 8.7 percent had self-harmed (up from 6.6 percent), and just over 11 percent had been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety and depression (up from 6.9 percent).
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author.
If a student has disclosed thoughts, plans and/or current attempts of suicide, please contact the Suicide Hotline: 1800SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or Mental Health Support: 310-6789 (no need to dial area code) or 911 for emergency situations.