Types of anxiety disorder

Types Of Anxiety Disorders

Experiencing anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders often have persistent, intense, excessive worry and fear about everyday situations. Anxiety disorders can involve frequent episodes of sudden feelings of extreme anxiety, terror or fear that reaches a peak within minutes. Anxiety and panic can impede daily activities; they can be hard to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can continue for a long time. Avoiding places or situations to prevent these feelings can be a common occurrence.

Examples of anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder, specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder or social phobia. It is possible to have more than just one anxiety disorder. Anxiety can sometimes result from a medical condition that requires treatment.

Anxiety Symptoms

Common anxiety symptoms and signs include:

  • Feeling restless, nervous or tense
  • Having a sense of impending panic, danger, or doom
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweating and Trembling
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Issues concentrating
  • Overthinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Sleep issues
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Uncontrollable worry
  • Avoiding situations or circumstances that trigger anxiety

Anxiety Disorder Types

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about events or activities. The worry is often out of proportion to the actual circumstance, making it difficult to control and affecting how you feel physically. GAD often occurs alongside other anxiety disorders or depression.
  • Panic Disorder – frequent episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety, terror or fear that reach a peak within minutes. You may experience feelings of impending doom, chest pain, shortness of breath or a rapid, fluttering or pounding heart. 
  • Selective Mutism – a consistent failure of children to speak in specific situations, such as school, even though they can speak in other situations, like at home or with close family members. 
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder – a childhood disorder characterised by anxiety that’s extreme for the child’s developmental level, related to separation from parents or those who have a parental role.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia) – involves high levels of anxiety, avoidance of social situations and fear due to feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment, and worry about being judged or viewed negatively by others.
  • Specific phobias are characterised by major anxiety when you are exposed to a specific situation or object and desire to avoid it. Phobias can cause panic attacks in some people.
  • Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder is characterised by symptoms of intense panic or anxiety that are a direct result of taking medications, misusing drugs, being exposed to a toxic substance or withdrawing from drugs.
  • Other specified and unspecified anxiety disorder – terms for anxiety or phobias that do not meet the exact criteria but are substantial enough to be distressing and disruptive.

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