Most of us regard anxiety as a response to all kinds of stressful situations. However, medical experts have divided anxiety into various types based on the type of response it brings forth from us.
Given below are the different types of anxiety disorders along with a little information about their causes and symptoms.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
There is no specific cause for this type of disorder. The affected person will worry excessively about the day-to-day activities. The excessive worry will impair their ability to function properly. There is always a fear that some trouble will befall them. Physically the person experiences distress, restlessness, fatigue, sleeplessness and suffers from stomach problems.
2. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
This is otherwise called Social Phobia; the affected person has a tendency to be extremely shy and fearful. The person avoids the public. Stage fright can be taken as an example. The affected person is highly conscious and worried about self. The person is scared of being embarrassed and ridiculed as well as of being scrutinized by those around him or with whom he deals. Palpitations and fainting can be observed in extreme cases.
3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The person uncontrollably repeats patterns and actions. These actions or patterns become a ritual, which the person feels forced to follow. The person is troubled by the same thoughts recurring in his mind and finds it unable to get rid of the same. These thoughts turn into obsessions and actions, which further become compulsions. Hence it is named as OCD. A common symptom observed in people suffering from OCD is frequent washing of hands due to the fear of infection.
4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This disorder is a result of some kind of trauma or a terrifying event. Frightening thoughts persist and plague the mind of the affected person. If the person has been through an ordeal, then thoughts of the ordeal continuously disturb the person. The person suffers from nightmares and will also have frequent flashbacks about the incident. The affected person is hyper-vigilant. He gets startled when experiences something resembling his past.
The person will tend to avoid situations and places which remind him of his past experience. Soldiers and victims of violence, genocide, ethnic cleansing and people, who had gone through years of abuse, often suffer from PTSD. Even people who have lost a loved one suffer from PTSD.
5. Panic Disorder
People suffering from this type of disorder live terrified lives. They expect calamities in every turn or step. They have a fear of imminent death or debilitating disease. They are always nervous about everything. High heartbeat, rapid breathing, sweating, nausea are all signs of a panic attack. This can occur in people of all ages. A mix of physical and psychological effects put these people, into extreme distress.
Phobias are exaggerated, unrealistic, or intense fear of something that in reality isn’t so dangerous or not at all. The affected person will dread going near those things or doing those things. This only increases their phobia. Some of the commonly occurring phobias are – fear of heights, spiders, snakes, enclosed spaces like lifts or corners, darkness etc.
7. Separation Anxiety Disorder
This form of disorder is common in children and adolescents. Children often have a fear of getting separated from their parents when they have to attend school. This can also be seen to some extent in teenagers. Older people who are scared of being left alone also suffer from separation anxiety disorder.