6 Different Types of Anxiety Disorders Explained

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Important to recognise the difference between certain anxiety disorders as the treatment may vary.

There are six major types of anxiety disorders, each with their own distinct symptom profile: generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder (anxiety attacks), phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorder.  It is important to understand that anxiety is very common and you are not alone.  Most importantly Anxiety disorders are very treatable with with counselling, healthy life style changes and in some case medication is used. Here are a list of the 6 different types of anxiety disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

If constant worries and fears distract you from your day-to-day activities or you’re troubled by a persistent feeling that something bad is going to happen, you may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). People with GAD are chronic worrywarts who feel anxious nearly all of the time, though they may not even know why. Anxiety related to GAD often shows up as physical symptoms like insomnia, stomach upset, restlessness, and fatigue.

Anxiety Attacks (Panic Disorder)

Panic Attacks characterised by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Panic disorder may also be accompanied by agoraphobia, which is a fear of being in places where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls or confined spaces such as an airplane.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterised by unwanted thoughts or behaviours that seem impossible to stop or control. If you have OCD, you may be troubled by obsessions, such as a recurring worry that you forgot to turn off the oven or that you might hurt someone. You may also suffer from uncontrollable compulsions, such as washing your hands over and over.

Phobia

A phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that in reality presents little to no danger. Common phobias include fear of animals such as snakes and spiders, fear of flying, and fear of heights. In the case of a severe phobia, you might go to extreme lengths to avoid the thing you fear. Unfortunately, avoidance only strengthens the phobia.

Social Anxiety

If you have a debilitating fear of being seen negatively by others and humiliated in public, you may have social anxiety disorder also known as social phobia. Social anxiety disorder can be thought of as extreme shyness. In severe cases, social situations are avoided altogether. Performance anxiety (better known as stage fright) is the most common type of social phobia.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an extreme anxiety disorder that can occur in the aftermath of a traumatic or life-threatening event. PTSD can be thought of as a panic attack that rarely, if ever, lets up. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks or nightmares about what happened, hypervigilance, startling easily, withdrawing from others, and avoiding situations that remind you of the event.

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