5 Types of Anxiety Disorder
Although experiencing anxiety is unpleasant, it is a rather normal reaction to stress and can be helpful in some situations. Anxiety can alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention.
Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness. Anxiety disorders involve excessive worries or fears, often occurring in the absence of realistic stimulus. If you get to a point where everything in your life starts to feel like an emergency or an occasion for dread, your anxiety has likely gotten out of hand.
5 types of anxiety disorders—
Excessive anxiety can manifest itself in one of five anxiety disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or Social Anxiety Disorder. Here’s a little breakdown:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension over things, which are not a source of worry for most other people. You might, for instance, be anxious about walking next to a tall building for fear someone could drop a heavy object on you from a window above. While this is technically possible, it is a highly unlikely and an irrational fear.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) which prompt repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of relieving the obsessive thoughts. You may, for instance, leave your home and worry the stove was left on. Even after returning to check three or four times, you still aren’t convinced that your stove is off and it’s safe to leave.
- Panic Disorder (GAD) is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes or panic attacks of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms which may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress. Panic attacks usually subside after about half an hour, but they can become so intrusive and disruptive as to negatively impact all areas of your life.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after you’ve experienced something traumatic. You may relive this event in the form of recurring thoughts, daydreams or nightmares, and you may be unable to conduct normal affairs due to anxiety, anger and depression that are frequent symptoms of PTSD. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or man-made disasters, accidents, or military combat.
- Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by an overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness brought on by everyday social situations. It can be related to one type of situation—like public speaking or eating and drinking in front of others—or become so broad as to include almost every occasion of being around others. This can impact a person’s ability to hold down a job, run an errand to the grocery store, or even to leave their home so as to avoid any chance of social interaction.
If you suspect you or someone you love suffers, take heart. These anxiety disorders do not need to hamper your ability to lead a happier, healthier and more productive life. We understand and we’re here to help.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric specialists stand ready to assist you in regaining control of your life. Anxiety doesn’t have to have the last word. With the right help and resources, you can—and will—enjoy a life free of these fears and worries.