Walking into the office, your heart pounding heavily, you walk into your boss’s office. You have not slept all night, as you were unable to fall sleep, worrying about the mysterious text message you received summoning you to this encounter late last night. Experiencing shortness of breath, you walk in, only to discover that you have been given a raise! “All that anxiety for nothing,” you mutter under your breath. Now, the rest of your work day is torn between your lack of energy due to your lack of sleep and your renewed vigor stemming from your raise that will add up to being able to afford an extra Red Bull per day!
As you can see anxiety is present in all different aspects of life. You may experience anxiety in your work, schooling, or family. Anxiety is defined as a mental disorder characterized by a constant or severe worrying or fear. One can experience anxiety due to many different things, and better understanding anxiety can help you get one step closer to overcoming it.
An individual suffering from a constant anxiety affecting their life may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is defined as a debilitating chronic condition that shows during times of high stress and anxiety, characterized by symptoms of headache, sweating, spasms, palpitations, fatigue, and exhaustion. An anxiety disorder is often comorbid with other mental disorders such as depression, as they stem from similar mental vulnerabilities.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, most of which fall under 6 main types. The rest of this article will focus on highlighting those 6 types of anxiety disorders:
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
A generalized anxiety disorder is the most common type of anxiety disorder. It is characterized by an non-specific constant fear and worry and being overly concerned about normal matters.
2. Panic Disorder
Often confused with an anxiety attack, a panic disorder is characterized by occasional panic attacks. These panic attacks usually induce symptoms of trembling, shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. Many different things can cause a panic attack, including stress, exercise, or phobias. For an individual to be diagnosed with a panic attack, they must experience persistent anxiety over the appearance of these panic attacks, to the point where they can not function correctly.
The largest category of anxiety disorders are phobias. Phobias are cases of an anxiety disorder that relate to fear triggered by one specific thing. For example, arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. Agoraphobia is the anxiety of being in a situation where there is no clear path of escape. Social anxiety disorder is the fear of society, characterized by an intense fear or anxiety of humiliation in public.
4. Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Obsessive compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. In many cases, people suffering from OCD may suffer from a compulsion that is inexplicable, as they may experience nervousness and need to relieve it through ritual.
5. Post-traumatic stress disorder
Also known as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that develops following a traumatic experience. Common symptoms include flashbacks, depression, and avoidant behaviors.
6. Separation anxiety
People suffering from separation anxiety disorder can not deal with being separated from a person or a place. It occurs often in children and babies, but needs to be excessive for it be considered a disorder. It affects 7% of adults and 4% of children.