Specific Types of Anxiety Disorders
As mentioned above, there are multiple types of these disorders. Some of the most common include:
Generalized anxiety disorder is a pattern of excessive worry that disrupts daily living. If you have this condition, you experience a range of physical and mental symptoms, including restlessness, ongoing worry, muscle tension, edginess, concentration problems, sleep problems and fatigue. Your worry is often about work, family matters, car repairs, appointments or other minor events.
Panic disorder causes recurring panic attacks with a range of symptoms, such as:
- Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat
- Sweating, trembling and shaking
- Shortness of breath or choking feeling
- Chest pain or abdominal pains
- Dizziness, light-headedness or feeling faint
- Chills or hot flashes
- Tingling or numbness
- Feelings of detachment
- Fear of dying or losing control
Many people suffering these attacks believe they are having a heart attack. It is often in a hospital emergency department that the first diagnosis of panic attacks occurs.
Specific phobias are excessive fear of a specific situation, activity or object. More often than not, these objects of fear are not harmful. Most people with phobias know their fear is excessive. Still, they cannot overcome their symptoms without treatment. Common phobias like these are fear of flying and spiders.
Social anxiety relates to fear of being humiliated, embarrassed, rejected or looked down upon as part of social interaction. If you suffer this condition, you possibly have an extreme fear of eating or drinking in public, meeting new people or public speaking.
This disorder causes excessive fear about being separated from people close to you. Someone affected this way typically worries about losing the closest person to them, to the point that they suffer a range of distressful symptoms like nightmares. It can cause reluctance to go out or be away from the other individual.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD includes repeated obsessions that cause distress which the affected person tries to relieve by performing actions called compulsions. Common obsessions include excessive worry of harm coming to certain people, germ contamination or needing exactness or symmetry. To alleviate these obsessions, the person performs actions like repeated checking, counting or organizing. Related disorders include hoarding, body dysmorphia, skin-picking or excoriation, and hair-pulling, also called trichotillomania.
Agoraphobia is a specific phobia related to situations where the person fears escape is difficult. It can also relate to fear of being embarrassed, such as by panic symptoms. This fear typically lasts at least six months and causes disruption in daily activities. Symptoms relate to at least two of these situations:
- Being outside of your home
- Using public transportation
- Being in enclosed spaces
- Being in open spaces
- Standing in line
- Being in a crowd
To deal with their symptoms, the person typically avoids putting himself or herself in these situations, particularly alone. Many people with this condition stop leaving their house.