5 Types Of Anxiety Disorders
There are a lot of reasons to get a little bit anxious in today's society. However, when the feelings intensify to a pervasive level, it suddenly becomes an anxiety disorder. Almost 20% of Americans suffered from an anxiety disorder in the past 12 months. There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders with different characteristics. Therapists and psychiatrists will attempt to categorize your disorder to create the best treatment plan. Learn more about the 5 most common types of anxiety disorders.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder is a chronic condition that creates unwarranted feelings of fear. Anxiety patients also often show signs of paranoia before a situation becomes remotely hazardous. In most cases, there's no clear trigger that initiates the anxiety. The condition is usually mild to moderate but can get severe.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD refers to an anxiety disorder in which negative thoughts, feelings, or imagery continually invade the patient's mind. The obsessive thoughts continue and grow louder. In order to turn down the volume on their obsession, the patient will complete certain compulsions, such as counting, reciting phrases or prayers, or checking locks. When nothing works to suppress the obsessions, the patient may perform their compulsions even more vigorously.
Social Anxiety Disorder
People with social anxiety disorder experience anxiety in social situations. The anxiety stems from a fear of humiliation and rejection. The feelings may start to develop in preparation for the event, only increasing in intensity the closer the date gets. The anxiety can get so bad that some patients will avoid social situations altogether, severely impacting their social relationships.
Panic attacks resemble generalized anxiety disorder, but the attacks are much more intense and occur in the presence of a specific trigger (although not always). Panic attacks completely debilitate the recipient, which can be especially dangerous when operating moving vehicles. Therapy can help patients pinpoint the cause of the disorder so that they can minimize interaction with their triggers. Therapy will also teach patients coping mechanisms to get through panic attacks as painlessly as possible, such as breathing exercises.
Whether derived from a traumatic incident or completely unfounded, some anxiety patients have intense phobias of certain stimuli. While some phobias make sense to a certain degree, others defy logic. Nonetheless, the physical reaction is very authentic. There are a number of ways to treat phobias, such as exposure therapy and psychotherapy.
To learn more about anxiety therapy, contact a counseling professional in your area.