Types of Anxiety

Types of Anxiety

There are several common types of anxiety disorders. Many people today suffer from one or more of these conditions. No matter which of the types of anxiety you have to deal with, information is the key to learning how to cope. Knowing what types of anxiety you suffer from helps you to know what is happening to you, learn ways to adjust, and continue to live a normal life despite your condition.

Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is one of the more common types of anxiety. People with GAD tend to feel constant anxiety of varying severity. You may experience muscle tension and poor concentration, become irritable easily, have trouble sleeping, and be tired all the time. What makes GAD unique among types of anxiety disorders is that there is no distinct cause for the anxiety. There is often a trend within families, making many researchers believe that there is a genetic component. Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications can be very helpful in these cases. Some GAD sufferers will have panic attacks or panic disorder along with GAD.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is much more uncommon, although it is one of the better known types of anxiety disorders. Uncontrollable thoughts and fears, often beginning during adolescence or early adulthood, make a normal life difficult to impossible. Victims of this condition may obsessively wash their hands to the point of skin damage, have an obsession with counting objects or completing actions a certain number of times, or exhibit other behaviors. They believe that if they don’t do these things, something unidentifiable but terrible will happen to themselves or loved ones.

Panic disorders, or panic attacks, are extremely disruptive to daily life. They often happen with no warning. The physical symptoms vary, with nausea, increased heart rate, and chest pain being common. Some people with these types of anxiety are able to learn what triggers the attacks, and may even be able to notice early signs before the attack starts.

Phobias are also a type of anxiety disorder. A phobia is an unrealistic fear. You may be afraid of snakes, driving a car, or many other every day things. While it is perfectly normal to have some fear, it becomes a phobia when there is no logical reason for it and the fear interferes with every day life. It makes complete sense to be afraid of spiders, for example, but not if you are unable to leave the house because of it. Cognitive behavior therapy is the most effective way to treat phobias.

Social anxiety is also common. Like phobias, social anxiety takes a normal fear and magnifies it. While it’s perfectly normal to be uncomfortable in crowds or be nervous when meeting new people, social anxiety takes it a step further. Many sufferers are unable to leave their homes for months or even years.

Separation anxiety, unlike other types of anxiety, can usually be traced to a specific event. Separation anxiety is most common in those who had traumatic experiences in childhood. The death of a parent or sibling, abandonment, and other traumas can result in separation anxiety later on. They may have panic attacks or other physical symptoms when faced with change or separation. This type of anxiety, while often caused by childhood experiences, may not show up until years later, often at the birth of their own child, a move to a new environment, or a new loss that triggers memories of the childhood incident.

As you can see, there are many types of anxiety. They all have different causes and different symptoms. One constant, however, is that they can make normal life hard. The first step in taking control is to know what types of anxiety you have. Only then can you take measures to contain your anxiety, deal with your fears, and live the life you desire.