Before looking into the types of anxiety disorders, first let us understand what actually is anxiety.
So, what is anxiety?
Everybody at one point experiences anxiety when faced with a stressful or worrying situation. Anxiety is the feeling of fear, apprehension and worry, accompanied by nausea, palpitations, chest pain, and breathlessness. Sometimes this can interfere with your normal life.
Excessive anxiety can be linked with other psychiatric conditions, such as depression.
Anxiety can be in many forms. It may be a fear of snakes, a fear of heights or stage fright, or it could also be nonstop worry about your parenting skills or constant fretting about success at work, etc.
Anxiety disorders are often treated using specific methods and techniques designed to target symptoms and develop coping mechanisms for the anxiety triggers.
Knowing which method to use in the treatment largely depends on the kind of disorder a person has. This article provides insights on the most common forms of anxiety disorders.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a common occurrence when a person faces potentially problematic or dangerous situations. It is also felt when a person perceives an external threat.
However, chronic and irrational anxiety can lead to a form of anxiety disorder. There are different types of anxiety disorder depending on their causes or triggers.
#1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A person who has this type of anxiety disorder usually experience prolonged anxiety that is often without basis.
More accurately, people with generalized anxiety disorders cannot articulate the reason behind their anxiety.
This type of anxiety usually last for six months and often affect women.
Due to the persistence of the anxiety, people affected with generalized anxiety disorder constantly fret and worry.
This results to heart palpitations, insomnia, headaches, and dizzy spells.
#2. Specific phobia
Unlike someone with generalized anxiety disorder, a person who has a specific phobia experiences extreme and often irrational fear of a certain situation or object.
When exposed to the object or situation they fear, people with specific phobias exhibit signs of intense fear like shaking, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and nausea.
Common specific phobias include fear of heights, enclosed spaces, blood, and animals.
The fear a person with phobia feels can be so extreme that he or she may disregard safety just to escape the situation.
#3. Panic Disorder
Also known as Agoraphobia, panic disorders are characterized by recurring panic attacks which are often unexpected.
Symptoms are usually shaking, chest pains, dizziness, fear of losing control, and reluctance of being alone. People with panic disorder are aware that their panic is usually unfounded and illogical.
This is why they avoid public situations and being alone. A panic attack can be so severe that people may lose control and hurt themselves.
#4. Social Phobia
Alternatively called social anxiety, a person with social phobia may exhibit similar symptoms like those of panic disorder especially in social situations.
Shaking, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations may ensue when a person with social phobia finds his or herself at the center of attention or in the company of many people, regardless whether they are strangers or not.
#5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder experience anxiety caused by a persistent obsession or idea.
They tend to avoid experiencing anxiety by resorting to repetitive actions or behaviors that prevent anxiety.
For example, a person who is obsessed about cleanliness may experience anxiety at the mere sight of a vase placed slightly off-center.
To prevent anxiety, he or she will clean and organize everything compulsively or without reason.
Again, there are various types of OCD and you can read it HERE.
Post-traumatic stress disorder may occur after a person experienced a severely traumatic event. He or she may relive the experience in his or her mind which causes stress and anxiety.
If a person with PTSD comes into contact with stimuli (any object, person, or situation) that he or she associates with the traumatic event, he or she may literally re-experience the event by crying uncontrollably, panicking, or losing control.
Subtler symptoms include insomnia and avoidant behavior. PTSD may manifest itself immediately after the traumatic event or even years after.
(Also Read: Yoga – A Cure for Modern Day Stress)
Treatments On The Types Of Anxiety Disorders
You can get help and come out of your fear. There are four types of therapy that have proved to be helpful and they have been used successfully to address the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
#1. Behavior Therapy
Here you are made to face your fear in a planned environment, and using different relaxation techniques, you are made to accept and overcome your anxiety and panic.
This helps you to become more confident about managing fear and anxiety and also prepares you to face any kind of inducing situations.
#2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
This is the most popular and effective type of psychotherapy to overcome your anxiety. The goal is to understand your thinking process and help you to develop coping skills before your anxiety takes over. This helps you:
• Challenge false or self-defeating beliefs
• Think positive
#3. Psychodynamic psychotherapy
This therapy helps those who have fear because of unconscious mental conflict. You are made to uncover the conflict as a means to stop the fear-causing anxiety and panic.
#4. Alternative therapies
Different therapies have been developed for treating anxiety, like EMDR – a therapy that utilizes rapid eye movement, repetitive sounds and tapping to reintegrate an “out of sync” brain. Even acupuncture is being used to treat anxiety.
All these therapies depend on various subjective factors, such as therapist competence. It is advisable to go to only a well known and experienced psychotherapist. Self help and relaxation techniques also play an important role in relieving anxiety symptoms.
Improving your eating habits and reduction in caffeine and sugar intake also helps. Exercise and a relaxation technique such as yoga, is also very helpful.
Try to reach out to your friends and family and share your troubles; do not let it get accumulated before it hits you hard.
Anxiety is very common and you are not the only one, so don’t hesitate to seek help.
About Panic Attacks
Panic attacks can effect your quality of living and drag you down from doing the things you enjoy.
If you have ever experienced a panic attack, then you know the feeling of terror that accompanies them, as well as the crippling fear that it might happen again.
If you are one of the three million Americans who have had multiple panic attacks, you should know that there are ways to control panic attack symptoms.
The symptoms are similar to a heart attack, and a sensation that you have lost touch with reality and an impending dread often accompanies the physical symptoms.
While you might end up in the emergency room the first time, this is not adequate treatment. In order to control panic attack symptoms, you need to help prevent them in the first place.
Options To Overcome Panic Attacks
One option is to consult a physician about getting treatment Some medicines on the market can help panic attack sufferers from reoccurrences. Another option available is cognitive-behavior therapy. This method utilizes visualization, breathing and relaxation techniques to fend off the symptoms of a panic attack when they occur.
Another option that some sufferers choose to help control panic attack symptoms is to actually face the fears. For some, gradually confronting the situations that cause panic can help eradicate them. There is method to this treatment, and it should be undertaken under the care of a physician or therapist so as not to aggravate the problem.
Chronic panic attacks, known as Panic Disorder, are a serious medical condition that can drastically affect the quality of your life. Panic Disorder is not necessarily a permanent condition and it can be treated successfully. Knowing that there are treatments out there though should help you can beat those fears and control panic attack symptoms!
We hope that all the readers got a good understanding about the types of anxiety disorders and how we can treat them. Do let us know with your views in the comment section.
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