Types of Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. When anxiety gets out of control, and interferes with the quality of life, help should be sought. To get an accurate diagnosis of anxiety, an appointment should be made with one of the following professionals: Family Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) or a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Following is a list of different types of anxiety.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common type of anxiety. GAD is characterized by free flowing anxiety. People who experience GAD constantly feel uptight and nervous. They tend to worry about everything. They also complain about feeling restless, irritable and report their life feels out of control.

Social Phobia is an irrational fear of being in social situations. These people feel watched or judged when they are around others. They may feel uncomfortable eating in public. Additionally, they frequently have fears about public speaking.

Agoraphobia is the fear of unfamiliar places. People with this disorder are afraid to go anywhere that is new. This can keep them hostage in their own homes. Agoraphobia can be present with or without a panic disorder.

A panic disorder includes psychological and physical symptoms. It is characterized by a general feeling of impending doom. During a panic attack people report feeling numb or weak. Their heart beats fast, and their bodies sweat so much they think they are having a heart attack. In fact, many panic disorders are diagnosed in hospital emergency rooms, because people go there thinking they have a cardiac condition.

Specific phobias include intense negative feelings toward situations, objects, animals or other things. People with a specific phobia will avoid a particular place at all costs. An example of a specific phobia is fear of driving over bridges. Someone with this type of phobia will drive miles out of their way in order to avoid a bridge.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety reaction that comes after someone has experience a trauma. It is commonly diagnosed in military personnel, after they have returned home from war. While in combat, they may have seem someone die. If they internalize this, they may feel responsible for the death. This leads them to rethink and relive the trauma over and over in their mind.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)is an unrealistic, fearful thought that can’t be shaken. For example, someone with OCD may dwell on the fear of shooting their pet. They may obsess over this despite the fact they have never shot any animal before, and they don’t own a gun. Additionally, they may have compulsions, which are intense desires to perform ritualistic activity. An example of a compulsion is someone who washes their hands with a new bar of soap every time they wash. Once it is used, it must be thrown away. Someone with OCD may know their obsessions and compulsions are irrational, but can’t stop themselves.

Anxiety disorders are common. In order to receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment, it is important to be evaluated by a professional. The sooner a diagnosis is made the sooner people can be on the way to recovery.

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