Anxiety can be displayed in different ways and impact individuals in unique ways, from excessive worrying to panic attacks. This blog will delve into the different types of anxiety disorders, causes and symptoms, and proven treatment methods to help individuals manage and conquer this condition.
What is an anxiety disorder?
An anxiety disorder is a specific type of psychiatric condition in which people respond to situations or things with fear, worry, terror, or panic. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. Additionally, anxiety can cause physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, and a rapid heartbeat. It is among the common psychological disorders affecting millions of people around the world.
It’s normal to experience anxiety sometimes. For example, If you have to solve a problem at work or attend an interview, you may face nervousness. However, anxiety disorders go beyond temporary fear. An anxiety disorder happens when:
Types of anxiety disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by constant and excessive worry and anxiety that interferes with daily activities such as work or relationships. In other words, with generalized anxiety disorder, you may feel extremely worried and tense — even if there’s nothing to trigger those feelings and it is difficult for you to control. It is not the same as occasionally feeling anxious due to stressful life events.
GAD symptoms may include:
- Trouble paying attention
- Sleeping issues
- Feeling exhausted quickly
- Having a bad mood
- Experiencing headaches, or other aches without apparent cause
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by the sudden emergence of extreme fear and discomfort or a sense of being out of control or disconnected from reality. Compared to other anxiety disorders, these attacks frequently involve stronger, more intense sensations.
People with panic disorder have frequent and unexpected panic attacks. They try to prevent themselves by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors connected to panic attacks.
A combination of both physical and psychological discomfort is the primary symptom of panic disorder. Apart from that, several of the following symptoms indicate an attack:
Apart from that several of the following symptoms indicate an attack:
- Fast heartbeat, or irregular heartbeats
- Shaking or trembling
- Feeling of suffocation or shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Feeling faint, or dizzy
- Numbness or tingling
- Chills or hot flashes
- Stomach discomfort
- Feelings of being out of control
A specific phobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an extreme and ongoing fear of a particular thing, situation, or activity. Some of these phobias, like a fear of snakes, might make sense but this is only sometimes the case. The fear is excessive and out of proportion to any actual danger posed by the object or situation. Patients are aware of their intense fear, but they are unable to get over it. Some people may go to great lengths to avoid their phobias because they are so distressing.
The following are different types of phobias:
- Claustrophobia: Fear of being in constricted, confined spaces
- Aerophobia: Fear of flying
- Arachnophobia: Fear of spiders
- Driving phobia: Fear of driving a car
- Erythrophobia: Fear of blushing
- Hypochondria: Fear of becoming ill
- Zoophobia: Fear of animals
- Aquaphobia: Fear of water
- Acrophobia: Fear of heights
Blood, injury, and injection
- (BII) phobia: Fear of injuries involving blood
- Escalaphobia: Fear of escalators
- Tunnel phobia: Fear of tunnels
These are far from the only specific phobias. Nearly anything can cause a person to develop a phobia. Additionally, the list of possible phobias varies and increases with passage of time. Nomophobia, for instance, is the fear of going without a phone is hot off the press.
Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
An individual with a separation anxiety disorder has excessive fear or anxiety about being separated from persons to whom they are attached. Separation anxiety is often thought of as something that only children deal with; however, adults can also be diagnosed with separation anxiety disorder. Children with a separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will not come back as promised.
A person with a separation anxiety disorder could worry about losing the person they love most all the time, hesitate to leave the house or refuse to spend the night apart from them, or even have nightmares about being separated. The anxiety or fear may cause significant distress or impairment in daily functioning.
Common symptoms of Separation Anxiety Disorder in children include crying, tantrums, complaints of physical symptoms, and reluctance to attend school or other activities.
What are symptoms of an anxiety disorder
The symptoms of an anxiety disorder can vary depending on the type of disorder and the individual. However, some common symptoms of anxiety disorders includes:
What are the causes of anxiety disorders?
The exact cause of anxiety disorders is not fully understood, but research suggests that it is a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental factors. They believe the following aspects may be involved:
Treatments and Therapies for anxiety disorders
Similar to any other psychological disorder, an anxiety disorder requires treatment. The first step is to see a psychiatrist to ensure that there isn’t any other physical issue causing the symptoms. If you are experiencing an anxiety disorder, seeking assistance from a mental health expert can be beneficial.
If you are struggling with anxiety, seeking talk therapy can be beneficial for you. Psychotherapy includes techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you to change your thoughts, actions, and reactions to events or situations. Acceptance and commitment treatment (ACT) helps you identify unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors that cause negative emotions. It uses methods such as setting goals and mindfulness to reduce discomfort and anxiety.
Medications cannot cure anxiety disorders, they can effectively alleviate symptoms. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and beta-blockers are used to treat anxiety disorders.
To determine the best-prescribed medication and dosage, your healthcare Professional Psychiatrist in the USA will discuss it with you. Before changing your dosage, consult your healthcare provider, who will monitor you for negative side effects.