What Are The 6 Types Of Anxiety Disorders?

By Duane Beckett
Credit: Wokandapix / Pixabay

Anxiety disorders can happen to anyone, at any time in their life.

Any of the 6 main types of anxiety disorder can be life-altering, debilitating, and relentless:

Yet it’s easy to bundle these serious disorders with the different forms of anxiety and fear people experience in day-to-day life.

FACT: Modern life can be hard but an anxiety disorder is different to these everyday emotions.

The Difference Between Anxiety And An Anxiety Disorder?

The different anxiety disorders we list below can permanently impact a persons autonomic nervous system (ANS) through prolonged periods of anxiety.

For most people without an anxiety disorder, the chemicals their body produces when anxious are temporary:

However, someone with an anxiety disorder who regularly suffers anxiety because of certain state and personality traits will flood their system with hormones such as corticosteroids.

These chemicals push the “flight” response from the fight-or-flight responses all humans have:

All forms of anxiety trigger this response but only those with long-term type of anxiety disorders will end up suffering large scale damaging effects.

This is the key danger in all kinds of anxiety issues:

Whether the person suffers anxiety for long periods of continuous time, And how much damage has been done to their system before treatment.

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The 6 Types Of Anxiety

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms to look out for:

  • Restlessness and feeling on edge all-the-time.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Constant fatigue and tiredness.
  • Muscle stiffness and soreness.
  • Expressions of irritability all the time.
  • Regular trouble with sleeping.

General anxiety disorder is chronic and would be constant.

It can often be linked back to fear, anxiety, and apprehension over certain events.

People suffering with this type of anxiety disorder often seem neurotic and constantly worry.

2. Social Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms to look out for:

  • An excessive anxiety or fear regarding general or specific social settings.
  • When explaining their feelings, the person will often talk about feeling humiliated, on show, and come across as under extreme pressure before the social setting.
  • Those suffering from social anxiety disorder will always make excuses to escape the social setting, or carry out other dysfunctional behaviour to avoid the social setting.

People suffering from social anxiety disorder often end up being scrutinized by those they are letting down in those social settings.

Worst still, in the process of escaping the social setting, the person will create more complex situations and alienate themselves.

3. Separation Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms to look out for:

  • An inability to be separated from a person or item.
  • Recurring anxiety over the loss of important people or items in their lives.
  • Refusal to leave certain locations where the person or item they are attached to lives/is found.
  • Cannot be left alone, or if they are left alone, they are overly fearful.
  • An inability to sleep without the person or item they are attached to.
  • Recurring nightmares about losing the person or item they are attached to.
  • Sickness if and when away from the person or item.

This is a common anxiety disorder with younger people who have experienced loss.

It becomes less common as people get older, with it being more extreme and cause for concern the older the person is.

Especially if that person should have a certain level of emotional development (adult).

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4. Phobia’s

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Phobias are common.
  • With an anxiety disorder evolving from an irrational and uncontrollable phobia.
  • Reactions to a certain phobia will be disproportional to other fears encountered.
  • The reaction to the phobia is immediate, and can often be triggered by just thinking about the item.
  • The person suffering from a phobia will create situations to avoid encountering their phobia.

A phobia could include fear of snakes, spiders, flying, tight spaces, or anything which triggers the fight-or-flight response.

It is when a phobia takes over a person’s life that it must be dealt with before it becomes a long-lasting anxiety disorder.

5. Agoraphobia

Symptoms to look out for:

  • If the person suffers extreme anxiety from being in outside spaces.
  • Additionally, if the thought of, or actually being in a crowd or enclosed public space triggers anxiety.
  • If the person has anxiety about being out alone or in public transportation.

Previously, Agoraphobia was considered a panic disorder:

However, its specific symptoms and trigger, which focuses on the feeling a person has that they cannot escape a certain environment, made Agoraphobia its own anxiety disorder.

Despite the trigger being different, a panic attack is often the end result.

6. Panic Disorder

Symptoms to look out for:

  • People looking from the outside in will believe the panic attack occurs for no reason.
  • While the person suffering will worry and panic over having panic attacks before and after the event.
  • This in turn creates a continuous loop of anxiety and ultimately more panic attacks.

The first panic attack can happen for any reason and is a common occurrence amongst people:

Panic attacks are intense, heart-pounding, nerve-shaking experiences, that can lead to extreme sweating, nausea, dizziness, chest pains and black outs.

If you suffer from panic attacks, please see your doctor for a full physical evaluation as they can be a sign of other medical problems.

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