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Feelings of stress and anxiety will arise for everyone at some point in their lives. When you need to make an important decision or start a new job, it is not uncommon to feel some anxiety. However, for people with forms of anxiety disorders, these feelings are often intense and never go away. 

All anxiety disorders can impose adverse effects on a person’s daily life and overall well-being. To understand anxiety, you need to realize that there are several different types of anxiety, and treating them is not always a one-way road.

What is Anxiety?

Intense and persistent feelings of worry or fear is a baseline description of anxiety. Physical reactions like sweating, increased heart rate, fast breathing patterns, and fatigue often accompany these feelings. For a person struggling with an anxiety disorder, these feelings and physical reactions are difficult to predict and happen consistently

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder is an excessive display of worry and fear that is present most days of the week. This form of anxiety often affects a person’s abilities to perform in social environments, school, and work. 

Common symptoms include: 

  • Uncontrollable doubt or worry
  • Feeling irritable, restless, or on-edge
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle tension
  • Loss of concentration
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Common Types of Anxiety

While anxiety can manifest in many ways, there are several types of anxiety that are most commonly seen, diagnosed, or treated. From post-traumatic stress disorder to phobias, people can experience worry and fear at varying levels that can affect daily life in different ways. The following is a general list of types of anxiety disorders and their common symptoms.

Panic Disorder

First on the list of anxieties is panic disorder. People with this disorder struggle with recurring panic attacks that are unexpectedly triggered. A panic attack is best described as a sudden overwhelming sense of intense fear, sometimes lasting for minutes. Pain disorder is often accompanied by a constant fear of triggering another episode.

Common symptoms a panic attack may cause include:

  • A racing heart rate or heart palpitations
  • Feelings of impending doom and loss of control over oneself
  • Intense shaking, trembling, or sweating
  • Difficulty breathing or hyperventilating

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is a prevalent disorder on the list of anxiety disorders. For people living with social anxiety, any form of social environment or interaction will bring on an intense feeling of fear or worry. Social anxiety can cause a person to feel extremely overwhelmed and precautious of their every move.

Common symptoms include:

  • Extreme shyness 
  • Feelings of embarrassment, fear, or worry
  • Feeling like everyone is judging you
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Anticipated anxiety

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic stress disorder develops following a traumatic, shocking, or terrifying event. People with this disorder can be triggered by anything that may remind their mind or body of the trauma and feel as if they are reliving the event.

Common symptoms include:

  • Recurring nightmares where the person relives the event
  • Unwanted recurring memories of the trauma 
  • Anxiety and depression

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a highly misunderstood form of anxiety. This disorder is excessive, unwanted, and unwarranted thoughts and repetitive behaviors. 

The most common symptoms of the Obsessive-compulsive disorder include:

  • Having a set routine that can not be derailed from
  • Repeating common tasks like washing of hands or touching an object a certain amount of times 
  • Obsessively thinking about how to make these repetitions stop
  • Anxiety

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder is most commonly seen in children but can be present throughout adulthood. People with separation anxiety fear being away from specific people and sometimes objects in which they have attachments. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Intense worry or fear before or while separated from someone
  • Difficulty going to school or work if that person is not there
  • Feelings of intense worry, doom, or anxiety when this person is not around or what will happen if at some point they are not around

Phobias

There are many phobias that fall into the anxiety category. A phobia is described as an intense and persistent fear of something, someone, or an event. 

The most common phobias are:

  • Flying
  • Heights
  • Fear of public transportation
  • Fear of a specific animal or bug
  • Fear of enclosed spaces
  • Fear of open spaces
How to Treat the Most Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can be treated in several ways. For every person and every disorder, the treatment plan will be highly unique. Typical forms of treatment are various forms of therapy and medications. For more information on treatments of anxiety, you can visit the Anxiety Disorders Association of America website.

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