Panic Disorder:

Persons suffering from Panic Disorder experience panic attacks frequently leading to an intense apprehension of having another panic attack. This fear, called anticipatory anxiety, or fear of fear, may be present most of the time and seriously interfere with the person’s life even when a panic attack is not in progress. This usually causes a person to avoid situations that they fear might trigger another attack. For example, should someone have a panic attack while driving they may be afraid to get behind the wheel again.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

A more or less continuing state of high anxiety, apprehension and excessive worry, for at least six months, that is extremely difficult to control. Some typical symptoms are: restlessness, or feeling keyed up and on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.


Agoraphobia is a condition in which a person suffers from severe anxiety and incapacitating fear usually focused on specific situations that are always avoided. It may include fear of traveling, especially in a vehicle he can’t control, riding an elevator, being in crowded or isolated places, or any place where he/she cannot escape quickly. Common fears in such situations include: fear of being trapped, fear of losing control and doing something scary or unacceptable, fear of going crazy, fear of having a stroke or a heart attack, and fear of dying. Often these fears are associated with places or territories. Thus places such as grocery stores, or being outside of one’s safe area, are avoided at all costs.

Social Phobia:

Social Phobia is the fear of embarrassment or humiliation in situations where the sufferer is exposed to the scrutiny of others or must perform. This fear is much stronger than the normal anxiety most people experience in similar social situations.

Usually the fear is so powerful that persons avoid such situations, but some will endure them but with extreme anxiety. Often the fear is that one might say or do something that would cause others to judge and reject them. Sometimes the fear is being seen as stupid, weird, different, crazy or anxious.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

Persons with OCD are plagued by recurrent and persistent thoughts (obsessions) that they find very disturbing. Often persons with OCD feel compelled to perform some routine or ritual (compulsion) that helps relieve the intense anxiety brought on by the obsession. The routine is usually time consuming, thus interfering with normal functioning. Among the more common obsessions are: contamination, doubt, and violent thoughts. The more common compulsions include cleansing, checking, hoarding, counting and repeating.

Rev. Robert Murphy

BVRM Executive Director

Charter Member American Association of Christian Counselors