In my experience as a clinician treating this disorder, much of what I encounter is the “Compulsive” end of the diagnostic label. Namely, the compulsive behaviors that are frequently found attached to this disorder. The way I conceptualize such an issue is to see it as the individual’s innate desire to rid themselves of the emotional experiences they find uncomfortable. In an effort to try to control the emotional and physiological states driven by the anxiety, habits frequently form that reflect the desire to remove or avoid the aversive emotional/physiological states.
From the treatment standpoint, I’ve found that it can be beneficial both for the course of treatment and for the subjective sense of empowerment for the client for them to understand the apparent function of these symptoms in their experience. When a client can see themselves as having the ability to be effective in dealing with their own issues and can relate to them in a more direct fashion, there tends to be less experience of unnecessary fear and additional emotional and physiological distress.