The most common anxiety disorders in Canada
An estimated 12 percent of Canadians suffer from an anxiety disorder. Here’s a look at the most common disorders and their symptoms
Social phobia (a.k.a. social anxiety disorder)
Estimated lifetime prevalence in Canada: 8-13 percent
Characterized by: Intense fear of embarrassment or being seen negatively by others. More than just shyness, it can get in the way of careers, relationships and leading a normal life.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Estimated lifetime prevalence in Canada: 8.7 percent
Characterized by: Persistent excessive anxiety about minor concerns. The sufferer tends to expect the worst outcome in every situation and exhibits physical symptoms such as nausea, trembling or muscle tension.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Estimated lifetime prevalence in Canada: 8 percent
Characterized by: Extreme anxiety caused by a traumatic event such as rape, military combat or an accident. Symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks and generally feeling unsafe.
Estimated lifetime prevalence in Canada: 3.7 percent
Characterized by: Repeated anxiety attacks that seem to happen for no reason.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Estimated lifetime prevalence in Canada: 2 percent
Characterized by: Persistent irrational thoughts that cause anxiety and compel the sufferer to perform repetitive behaviours to try to feel better.
Estimated lifetime prevalence in Canada: 1.5 percent
Characterized by: Intense fear of being in public places, especially those that don’t offer easy escape routes. The sufferer might avoid such places or even refuse to leave home.