Anxiety disorders

Please scroll to the bottom to see the resource listing.

Everybody worries.  But when those worries get extreme and chronic, when they affect your daily life, then it becomes an illness.  Anxiety can be acute and reoccurring, or can be a constant presence.  It can cause havoc with sleeping, with eating, with blood pressure, with the digestive system, with memory and many other systems. 

Social Anxiety Disorder

Also called social phobia, this anxiety is triggered by social situations.  It is an intense fear of embarrassment or humiliation, much more severe than for someone who is considered an introvert or shy.  People often feel like all eyes are on them and they obsess over every detail of their social interactions.  They often feel out of place and even avoid social situations all together.  For one person it might be limited to a phobia of public speaking, for another even making a phone call to a strangers can be a daunting experience.

For more information about social anxiety please click here. 


Social gatherings

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Generalised anxiety disorder, or GAD, is chronic constant worry and tension.  Quite often the anxiety doesn’t seem to have a specific cause, but the sufferer might focus on money, work, family etc.  Often a sufferer will know that the level of worry is irrational, but they feel helpless to control it.  Quite often GAD goes hand in hand with depression.  Treatment, like most anxiety disorders, is focused on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  

For more information about generalised anxiety please click here. 

Panic Disorder

Unlike chronic generalised anxiety, panic disorder is characterised by acute attacks of panic.  Attacks consist of a pounding heart, feelings of being smothered, dizziness or nausea.  In some severe cases vomiting or even fainting might happen.  It is not unusual for someone to worry that they are having a heart attack.  Many people have one panic attack and then never experience another, but those with panic disorder have reoccurring attacks and quite often have persistent anxiety about another attack occurring. 

For more information about panic disorder please click here. 



Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD is exactly what it sounds like, obsessive disturbing thoughts and compulsive repetitive ritualised behaviours.  Behaviours can range from obsessive cleaning to hoarding and generally there is more than one behaviour.  Quite often the sufferer will know that their obsessions and compulsions make no sense, but they feel powerless to control them.  In many cases a long-term sufferer will stop trying to control their behaviours because it takes less effort than fighting.   

For more information about obsessive-compulsive disorder please click here. 



Postpartum Anxiety (please see postpartum disorders)



North Hamilton Community Health Centre

Mental Wellness Toolkit Series Workshops - Break Free [from anxiety & panic] (12 weeks)

  • Open to everyone interested in self-managing their anxiety and chronic worrying in a relaxed, community atmosphere.

  • See "Health Promotions" calendar, workshops are scheduled according to demand.

Contact 905-523-6611 x3008 to request more information.

MacAnxiety Research Centre

  • A psychiatric research centre located in Hamilton, Ontario.

  • They have ongoing recruitment of participants for a variety of studies.

Please contact 905-921-7644 for more information.


St Joseph's Healthcare - Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic

  • Team of experts offer comprehensive evaluations and proven treatments for anxiety-related conditions.

  • Treatments at the ATRC include both medications and effective psychological treatments.

  • A physician referral is required to access care at the ATRC.

For more information on how to access the clinic, please review the referral information on the website or call 905-522-1155 x33697.

Mental Health Rights Coalition

Drop-in Peer Support

  • Membership is free and allows access to a number of programs.

  • There are a variety of resources available including computer, internet, telephone and a resource library. There are brochures available and help in finding other community resources.

  • Peer support is always available either in the group setting with other mental health consumer/survivors or in private with a trained peer support worker.

Call 905-545-2525 for more information.

Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton (SACHA)

  • Free counselling (16 sessions) and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault.

  • They also offer various group support sessions in healing from the impact of sexual assault including self-esteem.

  • There is a waiting list, call to inquire.

Contact 905-525-4573 to register for access or 905-525-4162 to speak to the 24 hour support line.

PFLAG Canada - Hamilton Wentworth

  • The Hamilton-Wentworth chapter of PFLAG Canada is a community resource providing support, information and education, and community to people around issues of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation -- their own, and those of others.

Contact them at 1 888-530-6777 Ext 564 or on their Facebook page here for more information.

Recovery Canada

  • Peer-led community, telephone and online meetings to help overcome fear, anxiety and anger.

  • The Recovery Method is a compilation of many simple, yet practical coping techniques. To gain inner peace, members learn how to change the way they react to the people and situations they have no control over.

  • Members learn how to identify and manage negative thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors that can lead to emotional distress and stress related physical symptoms.

  • Hamilton community meeting locations: Emmanuel United Church, Binkley United Church.

Contact 905-304-6802 for information about the program and meeting times.

Mental Health Helpline

  • Funded by Ontario government to provide information about mental health services and basic information about mental illness.

Information can be found by calling 1-866-531-2600.

Kids Help Phone

  • Canada's only bilingual phone and online counselling service for youth. Free anonymous and confidential.

Call to speak to a counsellor 1-800-668-6868.

Contact Hamilton [for Children's Services]

Contact Hamilton is an entry point to services for children and youth with emotional, behavioural or developmental concerns and adults with developmental disabilities.

  • Information about available services;

  • Central intake and referral;

  • Coordination of services;

  • Planning for the children's and developmental services systems.

  • Anyone can refer a child/youth to Contact Hamilton for services and supports as long as they have appropriate consent to do so.

If you need information or would like to find services and supports, you can reach us by calling 905-570-8888 or email at

Mood Disorders Anxiety Disorders Personality Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Schizophrenia Addiction
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Postpartum Mood Disorders Eating Disorders
Chronic Pain Suicide Prevention  

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