Autism differs from person to person in severity and combinations of symptoms. There is a great range of abilities and characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder — no two children appear or behave the same way. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and often change over time.
Characteristics of autism spectrum disorder fall into two categories.
A common mental health condition where people experience regular, excessive anxiety. Unlike other anxiety disorders where fears are easily identified, people living with GAD have multiple fears or may be unable to identify specific causes of their anxiety.
A common condition that’s characterized by excessive fear of certain social situations and specific concerns of being negatively judged by others. Often, social anxiety leads to avoidance of these situations which negatively impacts a person’s ability to function and their quality of life.
Develops following a traumatic experience with symptoms including upsetting memories, avoidance of trauma reminders, and impairment of normal routines and functioning. Acute stress disorder is diagnosed when symptoms occur directly after the trauma but resolve within one month. Acute stress disorder is a diagnosis used to help clinicians flag people at risk of developing PTSD following a traumatic experience like an accident, injury, or assault. Early treatment may slow or stop this progression to PTSD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A condition characterized by the intense fear of having another panic attack. Panic attacks feature extreme symptoms of anxiety that come on suddenly and generally last several minutes. Panic disorder leads to avoidant behavior which disrupts a person’s normal routine and daily life.
People feel an excessive and overwhelming amount of anxiety when separated, or when anticipating being separated, from a parent, spouse, child, etc. The level of anxiety experienced is not developmentally appropriate, is persistent, and can cause significant distress sometimes impairing social, school or work functioning. It is quite common and onset often occurs in children and adolescents. Treated with talk therapy and/or medication.
People experience intense anxiety in response to specific cues (people, places, things, or situations) that is excessive relative to the actual risk they face. Specific phobias are diagnosed when this fear or the resulting avoidance causes a significant distress or impairment in a person’s life. Phobias are treatable with exposure therapy, talk therapy, and/or medication.
The key differences between anxiety attacks and panic attacks involve intensity, duration, and onset. Panic attacks bring on a sudden rush of emotional and physical changes so intense that many people believe something serious is happening physically. A panic attack usually has a distinct beginning and end and symptoms rarely last more than 30 minutes. Anxiety attacks may be more subtle and present with a slow build. Periods of high anxiety could last for hours or days with the beginning and end of the anxiety attack very difficult to define.
Other mental health disorders