Jerome Kagan’s “Aha!” moment came with Baby 19. It was 1989, and Kagan, a professor of psychology at Harvard, had just begun a major longitudinal study of temperament and its effects. Temperament is a complex, multilayered thing, and for the sake of clarity, Kagan was tracking it along a single dimension: whether babies were easily upset when exposed to new things. He chose this characteristic both because it could be measured and because it seemed to explain much of normal human variation.
Anxiety disorders can be treated by a wide range of mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurses. Increasingly aware of the problems of anxiety disorders and depression, primary care physicians make frequent diagnoses, and they may prescribe medication or refer a patient to a mental health provider.
Researchers are learning that anxiety disorders run in families, and that they have a biological basis, much like allergies or diabetes and other disorders. Anxiety disorders may develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Find out more.
Silver Spring, Md. (April 21, 2009) — Sarah struggled with loneliness, anxiety, and fear. At age 27, she was isolated and had no lasting relationships. A nurse, she was anxious every day about having to discuss her patients with her coworkers. She knew that her fears and extreme shyness were holding her back. After years of suffering, she received professional help, and she was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.
Real Simple readers share their tried-and-true tips for dealing with six of the most common anxiety-inducing situations, then psychologists and communications coaches weigh in with more advice.