Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is characterized by the symptoms in the mnemonic created by Dr. Khouzam and published in The Western Journal of Medicine in 2001. 

Traumatic Event - associated with helplessness, fear & horror

Re-experiencing the trauma - flashbacks, nightmares

Avoidance - of anything associated with the trauma

Unable to function (socially, occupationally, interpersonally)

Month - or more of symptoms

Arousal is increased - hypervigilance, startle reaction, irritability

Panic Disorderfeatures at least 1 Panic Attack followed by (1) Concernabout more attacks (2) Concern about the consequences of attacks and (3) Change in Behavior

Fear of Dying

Fear of losing control


Chest Pain


A Panic Attack is a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, in which 4 or more of the following 13 symptoms develop abruptly, reaching a peak within 10 minutes. The symptoms are remembered by the phrase "Students Fear the C".

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, is characterized by 8 symptoms, remembered by the mnemonic WATCHERS:

Anxiety is a normal part of everyday life but when anxiety becomes intense and persistent and interferes with your functioning, you may be suffering with an anxiety DISORDER. There are several types of anxiety disorder including Generalized Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic Disorder and OCD. Treatment of your disorder will start with history-taking and an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment includes education, psychotherapy (especially CBT), medication and lifestyle changes.

Relaxation therapy is often helpful. Check out my relaxation program on iTunes.

Social Anxiety Disorderis recognized by the mnemonic FAINT:

F:  Fear of 1 or more social or performance situations in which the person feels scrutinized, humiliated or embarrassed

A:  Anxiety when exposed to the feared situation and  Avoidance of the situation

I:  Insight into the unreasonableness of the fear and Interference in Functioning

N:  Not due to medication, drug abuse or a medical condition

T:  Timing. If under 18 years old, symptoms have been present for at least 6 months

W:Worry and Anxiety for at least 6 months with impaired function


T: Tension in the muscles of neck & shoulders

C:Concentration impairment


E:Energy Loss (or fatigue)


S:Sleep Disturbance





Excessive Heart Rate (palpitations)


Tingling (in fingers or around mouth)

Shortness of Breath