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Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders affect about 12 percent of Canadians. They include phobias, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario is a nonprofit organization based in Ottawa, whose mandate is to assist individuals with anxiety conditions and their families, to promote both public and professional awareness of these conditions, and to provide programs, and educational services.
Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada is a Canadian nonprofit organization whose aim is to promote the prevention, treatment and management of anxiety disorders and to improve the lives of people who suffer from them.
Mental Health and Addiction 101: Anxiety Disorder is an online tutorial available from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
An Anxiety and Mood Disorders fact sheet is available from the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario.

CMHA Fact Sheets

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by persistent intrusive ideas, thoughts, impulses or images (obsessions) which often result in performing compulsive rituals over and over again. Typical compulsions are washing, checking and arranging things, and counting. These actions give individuals with OCD only temporary relief from their anxiety. With early diagnosis and the right treatment, people can avoid the suffering that comes with OCD.

Phobias and Panic Disorders

Phobias and panic disorders are included in a group of mental illnesses known as anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are among the most common type of mental health problems, affecting one out of every ten Canadians. In spite of this startling statistic, anxiety disorders are not well understood, and those experiencing these conditions are often regarded as “weak, self-indulgent or undisciplined”.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by reliving a psychologically traumatic situation, long after any physical danger involved has passed, through flashbacks and nightmares.

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

Let’s start by understanding the difference between the anxiety that everyone experiences occasionally, and an anxiety disorder. We all have times when we are nervous or fearful about a particular situation, and we experience any or all of the symptoms described above. Your nervousness can even temporarily interfere with your ability to cope; this is normal. However, if these symptoms create ongoing, significant distress that causes disruption in daily living, you may have an anxiety disorder.