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Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are common, and most types are highly treatable. Natural remedies, prescription medication and talk therapy are effective treatments for anxiety disorders. Treatment depends on the type and severity of the anxiety disorder.

How Anxious Feelings Are Expressed:

Anxious feelings are expressed in various ways and can have strong genetic ties. If your Mother struggled with social anxiety disorder, you're more likely to suffer from it too. Other factors such as life events, trauma, and stress make anxiety worse – sometimes distressingly so. People with agoraphobia, one type of anxiety disorder, won't leave the house, and people with panic disorder struggle with overwhelming feelings of terror, along with intense physical symptoms like heart palpitations or stomachaches.


Anxiety is actually the most treatable of all mental health complaints. Treatments for differently types of anxiety disorders include biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, physical exercise, relaxation techniques, and dietary changes. Often, successful treatment for anxiety disorders combine many of these therapies. Anxiety medication may not be necessary.

6 Types of Anxiety Disorders:


1. Phobias:


A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an overwhelming fear of something that poses no real or immediate danger. Spiders and flying in a plane are common phobias. Often, people with phobias are afraid of something that could potentially be dangerous (spiders can bite, planes occasionally crash) – but the fear and feelings of anxiety are excessive. People who struggle with this type of anxiety disorder often feel embarrassed and stupid because they know their fear is excessive.


2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder marked by recurring, persistent thoughts, images, and impulses. Repetitive behaviors – such as checking to make sure the stove is turned off seven times or counting objects – are a big part of obsessive-compulsive disorder. The ritual, such as compulsive hand-washing, deflects recurring thoughts or images which cause feelings of anxiety.


3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):


Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that arises after a terrifying event such as a natural disaster, terrorist event, death of a love one, or violent personal assault. Re-living the event through nightmares and flashbacks is common, as is severe depression and anxious feelings. Symptoms include difficulty sleeping, edginess, difficult concentrating, and feelings of detachment from loved ones.


4. Social Anxiety Disorder:


People who struggle with social anxiety feel extremely self-conscious and afraid in social situations. Meeting new people, going to a party, public speaking are all sources of fear and anxiety (those situations can induce feelings of discomfort in all of us but social anxiety is a type of anxiety disorder is marked by extreme feelings of fear). Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder that's fairly common.


5. Panic Disorder:


Panic attacks can be a part of panic disorder, which is characterized by intense physical symptoms and sudden overpowering feelings of terror. This anxiety disorder includes physical symptoms of fear (shortness of breath, racing heart, sweat) that escalate very quickly. Feelings similar to a heart attack or dying are common. A panic attack is the normal alarm reaction magnified, and it happens when no real danger is present. Terrifying feelings of anxiety are part of this type of anxiety disorder - people think they're going to die when they experience a panic attack.

6. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):

Relentless, unspecified worry about everyday things is the main characteristic of this type of anxiety disorder. In this anxiety disorder, the expectation is that the worst will happen; chronic worry affects every aspect of life: work, family, school, community and social events. Physical symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include insomnia, muscle tension, and irritability.


Anxiety disorders are highly treatable and won't necessarily take months to overcome. Finding the right therapist to help you overcome a phobia or deal with a more serious type of anxiety is important.

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