People who have suffered from anxiety for a lengthy period of time likely know their diagnosis.
But if you are just recently experiencing symptoms of anxiety, it can seem like a confusing and scary world.
Knowing where your main problem lies can be a big aid in taking counter measures against your anxiety.
You may realize you have more than one form of anxiety. Don’t be embarrassed, most sufferers do.
I have compiled a brief list of the variations of anxiety disorders.
Different Kinds of Anxiety
Knowing where your problem lies is the first step towards feeling better.
It is pretty simple..
You cant fix a problem if you don’t know what it is.
All kinds of anxiety share similarities. For one they suck.
And secondly they are all related to how we perceive stress.
Someone who has panic attacks obviously finds their trigger EXTREMELY stressful.
While someone who has General Anxiety Disorder stresses about everything..
If there isn’t something to stress about they will find something even if it is a good thing.
Here is a quick look at a few different types of anxiety disorders:
#1. Panic disorder
A person who experiences panic disorder experiences extreme episodes of worry.
They can be unpredictable and either provoked or unprovoked.
Physical symptoms of a panic attack may include:
- Racing heart
- Difficulty Breathing
- Chest pain
- Blurred Vision
A person in a panic attack may also feel like they are going to die. Or there is absolutely no hope.
#2 General Anxiety Disorder
People with GAD (like myself) are almost always worrying or at least thinking of something.
These worries often feel very hard to control or stop.
Even good things can be over exciting. They can be hard to stop thinking about.
I remember as a kid waiting for Christmas. Starting December first I would count down the days.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and I couldn’t fathom waiting 24 more days!
Sufferers of GAD also often dread events and have trouble “being in the moment”.
A common example would be laying in bed wide awake dreading going to work the next day.
GAD can be extremely exhausting as the nervous system and body are always under tension.
#3 Social Anxiety
Probably the most common type of anxiety, affecting roughly 7% of the American population.
Sufferers of social anxiety have a deep fear of being the center of attention.
They will often avoid parties or gatherings to avoid any situation where they could embarrass themselves.
Alcohol may decrease social anxiety temporarily, but can often make it worse over time.
Thinking of these embarrassing situations often brings up classic anxiety symptoms.
Social anxiety is often viewed as just being shy. It is not the same thing.
Someone who is shy may actually be very outgoing once you get to know them.
For example I met one of my best friends taking a course 3 years ago. For about the first 3 months we sat within arms reach and he never struck up a conversation.
A few months later he opened up and I went out with him and some of his friends.
Little to my surprise he was the loudest of his friends and the center of attention. Now, that is the only side of him I see.
On the other hand someone with social anxiety may be awesome when you get to know them but they will almost always have problems in groups.
Social anxiety sufferers are more likely to suffer from loneliness.
It is harder for them to make friends or relationships due to the fear of making a fool of themselves, and the fear of putting themselves out there.
People with phobias have an extremely exaggerated fear of a particular animal, place, or situation.
I think arachnophobia is a classic example.
Do you know someone who loses their wits so bad anytime they see a spider that they almost convince you that they themselves are going to die?
Another few obvious examples are:
- Claustrophobia-Extreme fear of confined spaces
- Needle phobia- Self Explanatory (don’t blame you)
- Acrophobia-Extreme fear of heights
To sufferers of extreme phobias, being put in a phobic situation may cause a panic attack even if the person does not have a tendency of panic attacks.
People with phobias will avoid situations that expose them to their fears at all costs.
Good luck getting someone with needle phobia in for shot at the doctors office, Or someone with acrophobia on a roller coaster.
#5 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
OCD sufferers feel the need to do specific things over and over.
They think in doing this they will prevent something bad from happening.
A classic example is hand washing to prevent germs and illness.
The person may also replay certain things, images, or thoughts repeatedly in their head. Pretty similiar to GAD in this scenario.
OCD sufferers ruminate way more than the average person. It shares this quality with General Anxiety Disorder.
For this to be considered OCD it has to interfere with daily life.
#6 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD sufferers have problems getting over a past (traumatic) experience.
PTSD is extremely high among veterans of war. Often times they have seen or done things that are hard to move on from.
Flashbacks can be common and extremely intense. Nightmares can be similiarily troubling.
Other examples include near death experiences, or an extremely embarrassing moment as a child.
Like GAD, PTSD can also be exhausting.
The experience has usually severely shaken up the victim to the point of being on high alert more often than not.
Hopefully now you know a little more about what you are up against.
Remember your mind is your greatest ally.
You can, and will defeat this. The sooner you start fighting the sooner you will be free.
If you would like to learn more in depth about these disorders or if you want to know how to improve them (I am assuming you do) then check out E-couch
It is a free online self help program that will walk you through exercises, medication options, and much more.
If you need someone to talk to this is the best forum I have found. Come and say hi!
If this helped you I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
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