Anxiety disorders are classified into a number of different types, depending on the symptoms and overall clinical presentation. Below is a brief list of the common types of anxiety disorders, and some of the symptoms that patients may experience. This should answer the question that you may have on your mind if you suffer from anxiety - ‘What type of anxiety do I have?’
Types of anxiety disorders
Generalised anxiety disorder
In this form of anxiety, patients tend to be constantly worried all the time. The effects can impact their daily life, as a lot of times the reason for anxiety is unfounded. Generalised anxiety disorder is the most common type of anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia)
This form of anxiety disorder typically describes an irrational fear of being in different social situations. It is expected for people to be shy and uncomfortable in new social situations, but in some cases this feeling can become overwhelming to a point where it affects normal life out in social groups. This is called social phobia. Patients with social phobia often believe that they are being judged when they are in social gatherings, and that everyone’s attention is focused on them.
Panic attacks refer to a feeling of impending doom in situations that would normally cause only a slight amount of worry. Patients may experience sweating, racing heart beat, headaches, and even chest pains. Patients feel they have no control over what is happening, and with reassurance symptoms often subside.
Obsessive compulsive disorder
This is a well recognised condition characterised by obsessive thoughts that compel certain behaviours. The behaviours are repetitive and can impact daily activities of patients, which can be extremely frustrating. If left untreated, OCD can be ‘destructive’, as different unrelated situations may be linked together in the obsessive and compulsive cycle.
Post traumatic stress disorder
This clinical condition is often precipitated following a traumatic event in life such as a road traffic accident, physical and emotional abuse and even sexual abuse. Patients will find it very difficult to move on in life, and require counselling to help them get through the stress. Patients tend to relive the trauma constantly, which can be precipitated by certain triggers. Patients also tend to worry that they may experience an attack of stress as well, which can make life very difficult for them.
There are a number of different situations where individuals can develop fear of certain situations or objects. These are called phobias. Phobias can be related to insects, flying, train travel and even driving. Patients with specific phobias will go to great lengths to ensure that they avoid any situations that might precipitate these fears.
Anxiety disorders are a few types, each with their individual symptoms.