In at least one point of our lives, we would be impacted by feelings of anxiety during certain situations. However, if the symptoms are persistent and excessive to the point they interfere with our lives, then this may be an anxiety disorder. Up to 31.1% of American adults would experience an anxiety disorder within their lifetime.
There are different kinds of anxiety disorders people suffer from, differing from the root cause and symptoms, along with the anxiety treatment to be prescribed. Read on to learn more about the different types of anxiety.
The Different Types of Anxiety
Before we get into the different types of anxiety, what is anxiety in the first place?
Anxiety can be a temporary emotion felt during stressful situations. It can come in the form of feeling fear, nervousness, stress, or worry, which will slowly disappear once the stressor has passed. This is a biological reaction that is normal and nothing to worry about.
However, with anxiety disorders, you would most likely experience overwhelming feelings of anxiety that would be excessive and persistent. And this happens even when there is no stressor!
Anxiety may trigger various symptoms, such as:
- Excessive fear and/or worry
- Agitation and/or restlessness
- Irrational fear of danger
- Sleep issues such as insomnia
- Pounding heart
- Head and stomachaches
- Muscle tension and/or trembling
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- Muscle tension and/or trembling
As mentioned, there are different types of anxiety:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
For those who have GAD, you would most likely experience uncontrollable and excessive feelings of worry. Such worries can take various forms, such as rumination, spending too much time thinking or mulling over various events in the future, about how they would play out, and how to deal with such situations.
It isn’t uncommon to experience such symptoms without being able to explain their causes. For those who have GAD, symptoms, like mentioned above, would be present most days for at least 6 months.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia, which is the fear of embarrassment, humiliation, or being criticized in public settings like in the office or school.
This may cause people to experience trouble socializing with people, especially when in a large group. Some people may try to avoid places and situations which trigger their fear and anxiety.
This type of disorder is characterized by experiencing unexpected and recurring panic attacks. Such attacks may occur without any warning, resulting in physical symptoms like dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, and/or shaking.
Those experiencing the attack may also feel disassociated from reality or have a sense of impending doom. Generally, these attacks would last for 20 minutes or less.
Phobias and different specific phobias would involve excessive, irrational, and/or overwhelming fear of certain things, places, or situations. These are the common phobias:
- Acrophobia – the fear of heights
- Aerophobia – the fear of flying
- Claustrophobia – the fear of tight areas
- Hemophobia – the fear of blood
- Hydrophobia – the fear of water
- Trypanophobia – the fear of needles
Another common fear is agoraphobia, which would usually occur as a response to panic attacks. For those who have agoraphobia, you would fear anxiety or fear about having panic attacks or fearing that something bad would happen in specific areas, typically outside the house.
This fear would have you avoid certain areas, opting to confine yourself at home to avoid the possibility of the bad situation from happening when you can’t receive help or support.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is usually diagnosed in children. Adults may also experience this anxiety disorder as well. This involves feeling extreme fear over something bad happening to someone in one’s life.
In kids, they would feel anxiety, fear, panic, and worry if they are separated from their parent or loved one. Adults would feel extreme fear or worry about a tragedy happening to a loved one, even if they are together.
Other Types of Anxiety
There are also other kinds of anxiety disorders, though less common, including:
- Anxiety disorder from other medical conditions
- Selective mutism
- Substance or medication-induced anxiety disorders
There are other mental health disorders that are referred to as anxiety disorders, though they now have separate diagnostic categories. This includes:
- Adjustment disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder, can develop after being exposed to terrifying events or ordeals
- Obsessive compulsions and related disorders, like obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is characterized by unwanted and recurrent thoughts or repetitive behaviors.
Diagnosis of Anxiety
A medical doctor and/or mental health expert would diagnose anxiety, using different criteria from the DSM-5 to diagnose and recommend treatment plans. There are diagnostic tests that may be done on the patient.
While the disorder is overwhelming, there are different treatment methods, such as:
- Psychotherapy or talk therapy
- Medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications
- Lifestyle changes and other alternative options, such as deep breathing, acupuncture, relaxation techniques, mindfulness meditation, proper sleep hygiene, minimizing alcohol and caffeine, and more
These treatments would usually be combined, such as psychotherapy with medications, along with changing certain lifestyle habits.
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for anxiety disorders. But with the proper treatment and intervention, you will be able to manage its symptoms. If you believe that you have an anxiety disorder, speak with your doctor about it and see what can be done to treat it.
Wrapping It Up
Many people who have anxiety may experience one or more types of this condition. They may also experience depression along with it. This is why it’s crucial to seek help and support early on, as the symptoms won’t go away if left untreated, to the point it can take over lives.
Hopefully, you learned a lot about anxiety disorders and the different types. To continue educating yourself on anxiety and how it can be treated for you and your loved ones’ sake. Good luck and stay healthy!
If you have questions or want to share your tips and experiences on anxiety, share them in the comments section below. Good luck and stay healthy!