The information below includes a limited overview of the disorder based on the DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria. Only a licensed therapist can provide a diagnosis.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Excessive worry and anxiety about events or activities are key elements of this disorder.

  • Excessive anxiety and worry (occurring more than 50% of the time)

  • Difficulty controlling worry.

  • May experience restlessness.

  • May experience fatigue.

  • May experience difficulty concentrating.

  • May experience irritability.

  • May experience muscle tension.

  • May experience sleep issues.

  • Anxiety and worry may cause work-related or social issues.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety focused on social activities where individual is vulnerable to scrutiny.

  • Anxious (or afraid) of social interactions and being examined by others.

  • Fears their actions will lead to embarrassment (which may then lead to being rejected).

  • Social environments are a key cause to instigating anxiety.

  • Avoidance of social situations is common.

  • The fear or anxiety is not proportional to the actual event.

  • The anxiety / avoidance is consistent and long lasting.

  • Symptoms often cause issues functioning in social or work-related activities.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Excessive fear and anxiety of being separated from a specific individual.

  • High stress when anticipating or experiencing separation from attachment figures.

  • Extreme fear of loss of major attachment figures.

  • Excessive worry of an unexpected event causing separation, such as getting lost, being kidnapped, etc.

  • Desire to stay home, out of fear of being separated.

  • Fear of being home without attachment figures.

  • Consistent refusal or reluctance to sleep far away from the attachment figures.

  • May experience nightmares of being separated.

  • May experience physical reactions to being separated, such as headaches, stomachaches, vomiting, etc.

  • Lasts at least 4 weeks in children and 6 months or more in adults.

  • Causes issues relating to social and/or work-related functioning.

Panic Disorder

Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks, involving a flood of fear and anxiety.

  • May experience increased heart rate.

  • May begin perspiring.

  • May experience trembling and shaking.

  • May feel shortness of breath, and even feel choked.

  • May experience chest pain.

  • May experience nausea and dizziness.

  • May feel temperature changes, such as chills or hot flash

  • May feel tingling or numbness.

  • May experience fears of losing control or dying.

  • May experience physical symptoms, such soreness, headaches, or uncontrollable emotions.

  • Worry or concerns about future panic attacks.

  • Individual has changed certain behaviors in attempt to avoid future panic attacks.

Selective Mutism

Characterized by failure to speak in social environments (primarily in children). Children with this disorder will speak at home with family members but refuse to speak elsewhere (such as school).

  • Failure to speak in social environments where there is an expectation for speaking (i.e. school).

  • The disorder interferes with educational accomplishments and social communication.

  • Lasts at least one month.

  • Not attributed to lack of knowledge or language.

  • Not attributed to lack of knowledge or language.

  • Often characterized by high anxiety.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.).

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