Types of Anxiety Disorders

Types of Anxiety DisordersThe term anxiety disorder is an umbrella nomenclature for many types of the mental illness. Doctors have to identify the specific type for which an individual falls into so as to design an effective treatment plan. As such, it is very important to be forthright, honest and thorough during discussions with your doctor.

Here then are the basic characteristics of the types of anxiety disorders that have been identified by the psychiatric community.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Among adults, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common type. It is characterized by non-specific, long-lasting fears and worries about everyday matters, which are often so uncontrollable and irrational that normal functioning is virtually impossible. Doctors will have to secure signs of physical and mental symptoms for at least 6 months before a definitive diagnosis of GAD is declared.

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Panic Disorder

Persons suffering from panic disorder experience brief but intense feelings of terror over perceived attacks on their persona and property. This is the body’s fight-or-flight response in hyper mode, which is characterized by extreme shaking, difficulty in breathing and nausea. Unfortunately, panic attacks can last for hours even when the perceived danger is well past.


Amongst all the types of anxiety disorders, phobias are the single largest category simply because individuals will have something to be extremely afraid about. It can be for something as small as spiders (arachnophobia) or it can be large open spaces (agoraphobia) or even by air. Depending on the object of extreme fear, an individual can go about the business of a normal life or be so paralyzed by fear that normal life is virtually impossible.

Social Anxiety Disorder

There are two types of social anxiety disorder: generalized when the individual is extremely afraid of almost all social interactions and specialized when the person is afraid only of a specific social situation. The consequences of non-treatment include partial or complete social isolation, which can be remedied with the appropriate medication and psychotherapy.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

One of the more known types of anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive obsessions and compulsions that often have no logical basis to them. For example, the need to wash hands after touching doorknobs for fear of germs can be classified as OCD behavior. Unlike other anxiety disorders, OCD is not debilitating per se. However, it does make for inconvenient detours, embarrassing situations and unnecessary expenses.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Generally speaking, post-traumatic stress disorder is triggered by traumatic experiences for which the individual has insufficient emotional mechanisms to deal with. Said traumatic experiences can include war, rape, serious accidents and rape, which often torture the person via flashbacks.

Separation Anxiety

Amongst all the types of types of anxiety disorders, separation anxiety may be the most common in terms of the range of population that it effects. Both children and adults cam be affected by separation anxiety from specific things, places and people.

You have to consult with your doctor to determine the specific category in which you fall into. This way, appropriate treatments can be made and you can resume your normal life free from the debilitating effects of anxiety disorder.

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