Everybody has felt anxiety. Whether it’s about a new social situation, a presentation, or anything else, we all know that feeling of nervousness. But chronic anxiety may be a cause for concern. If you feel a persistent, debilitating nervousness, then you may suffer from one of several common types of anxiety.
There are many types of anxiety, and identifying your anxiety disorder is a key part of receiving treatment. Take a look at these common types of anxiety disorders to learn about how you can begin your mental health recovery.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
If you suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), then you may feel anxiety in a wide variety of situations. For example, in a given day, you might feel worried about calling your dentist, visiting a friend, and working on a project. If your chronic anxiety is not limited to one specific area, then you may be living with GAD.
A key sign of GAD is that your anxieties do not match the world around you. For example, it’s normal to feel nervous about messing up during a presentation. But if you feel intense fear about your laptop exploding during that presentation, then this could be a sign of a mental illness, since that outcome is highly unlikely.
Physical symptoms of GAD may include heart palpitations, sweating, or quick, shallow breathing.
Suffering from frequent, recurring panic attacks is the main symptom of panic disorder. Panic attacks are sudden, severe feelings of anxiety that come with significant physical symptoms. These panic attack symptoms include:
- Elevated heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain, similar to a heart attack
Now, many people will experience a panic attack in their lifetime. However, if your panic attacks are happening more than once a year or so, you may have a panic disorder. Note that many common types of anxiety come with panic attacks as a symptom, but panic disorders are unique in that they come without the day-to-day anxiety symptoms of the other mental illnesses on this list.
Social Anxiety Disorder
If social interactions are a cause of excessive worry for you, then you may have social anxiety disorder. A common sign of social anxiety disorder is not wanting to leave your home for fear of being judged by others. This stress may make it hard for you to maintain friendships or even to stay employed for long periods of time.
Social anxiety disorder may cause you to pass up on various events and opportunities in your life. If this sounds familiar, it’s important that you seek treatment to regain control of your daily life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when you go through a traumatic experience and have trouble processing and healing from that trauma. Common symptoms of PTSD include reliving the traumatic episode, or avoiding objects or situations that remind you of your trauma. The latter are known as avoidance behaviors, and they generally come with feelings of fear or anxiety.
In instances where you are reminded of your trauma, you may react with aggression or depression. This can create major hurdles in conducting your daily business throughout life. For this reason, those suffering from this common form of anxiety should seek professional mental health care to address their needs.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by a feeling that you must complete certain daily rituals or risk harming yourself or your loved ones. For example, a person with OCD may feel compelled to wash their hands for ten minutes or more to prevent a deadly disease. In this way, mental health professionals identify OCD by compulsions that are not based in reality, but cause excessive stress in the individual.
Sometimes, these compulsions may be innocuous and rarely create issues. However, in other cases, OCD can cause people to miss social or career opportunities. In cases like this, professional mental health treatment is the most reliable way to improve living conditions.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Most people think of separation anxiety disorder only in the context of very young children. And while that is when most cases occur, adults can also experience this common form of anxiety. The symptoms of separation anxiety disorder are:
- Excessive worry about being away from loved ones
- Near-constant fear of losing a parent to a disease or natural disaster
- Avoiding leaving home for fear of separation from loved ones
While it’s normal for children to experience these symptoms, in adults, separation anxiety disorder is less common. In some cases, it may be brought about by new situations, such as moving away from loved ones or another large life change. In any case, this type of anxiety disorder is best healed through professional care.
Phobias are one of the most common forms of anxiety. While everyone has fears, phobias are categorized by irrationality and avoidance behaviors in individuals. In fact, most people with phobias realize that their anxiety is not rooted in reality, but cannot stop themselves from feeling that fear.
Among the common types of anxiety, phobias are among the most likely to affect an individual’s daily life. For example, someone living with a fear of cars may not be able to find reliable transportation to work or to social events. The most common specific phobias include fears of:
- Social events
- Open spaces
How to Treat the Most Common Types of Anxiety
Across these seven common forms of anxiety, there are a few constants. First, irrational fear of nervousness. Second, physical symptoms like increased heart rates or shallow breathing. And finally, the thing holding all of these anxiety disorders together is that each of them require professional mental health treatment.
Left untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to social isolation, stunted career growth, or even co-occurring substance abuse. For all of these reasons, if you feel anxious in a way that is similar to the common types of anxiety listed above, then you need to get help. And at The Blackberry Center, our team of psychiatrists, physicians, and other essential care staff are ready to help treat your anxiety disorder.
Do you have questions about how we help patients with anxiety disorders? You can call our admissions specialists at 407-449-8410, or you can fill out our confidential contact form. No matter what type of anxiety you’re facing, we’ll help you overcome it.