7 Types of Anxiety Disorders (And Their Symptoms)

by cadabamshospital

19 December,2016 | Reading Time: 8 minutes

It’s not nervousness. When you get extremely worried or scared of things to a point that it affects the quality of your life, that’s anxiety. Thankfully, there are ways to get a hold of your anxiety and live a happier life.

At Cadabam’s Hospitals, we have a multi-specialty team of experts who specialize in treating anxiety disorders. We rely on an evidence-based approach and holistic practices to provide patients quick relief irrespective of the type and severity of their anxiety. We have done this for more than three decades, enabling countless people with a healthier and anxiety-free life. We promise you the same outcome.

What are the common types (and their symptoms)?

Having occasional anxiety is a normal part of living. From exam anxiousness to public speaking,  you could feel the jitters and become anxious. Being anxious stems from our uncertainty about a given situation. But anxiety disorders are more than temporary worry or fear. People suffering from anxiety disorders are often compulsively worrying, having irrational fears, and have issues being social. Anxiety is physical as well as a mental issue that affects millions of people all around the world. Anxiety would be classified as a disorder when it starts interfering with an individual’s work, school, and relationships.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -5 (DSM- 5), there are different types of anxiety disorders. Here are some of the common ones:

1.  Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD)

GAD is the most common type of anxiety.

GAD is a state of mental and/or physical tension and nervousness. It could either have no specific cause or the inability to take a break from the anxiety.

The symptoms of GAD are:

  •         Constant feelings of irritation, restlessness, edginess, or a feeling that one has no control
  •         Having low energy levels (feeling drained)
  •         Tense muscles, in the back, neck, and shoulders
  •         Having issues concentrating on tasks or activities
  •         Obsessing over negative and anxiety causing thoughts

2. Separation Anxiety Disorder

It is a form of anxiety, where the individuals feel threatened by being separated from their parents or loved ones.

It occurs before 18 years of age.

It is the most prevalent anxiety disorder.

Girls are more susceptible than boys.

It creates a disruption in one’s school, work, or social life.

3.  Selective Mutism

Selective Mutism is one’s refusal to verbally communicate to people other than immediate family or caregivers.

Individuals here would often communicate with non-verbal signs like nodding or grunting.

Individuals here usually do not possess language deficits.

It usually occurs before 5 years of age and first being noticed in school settings.

4. Specific Phobia

Phobias are intense feelings of fear caused by objects, animals, or situations, etc.

The symptoms of phobias are:

  •         Excessive and constant fear of a specific object, animal or situation
  •         Instant feelings of terror once confronted with the subject of the phobia
  •         Inability to control your fears, even once you know they're irrational
  •         Going to great lengths to avoid the stimulus

It usually develops post a traumatic event or from witnessing traumatic events.

Anxiety occurs every time one is exposed to the stimulus.

Following are some common types of phobia: animal, natural environment, blood-injection injury, fear of blood, fear of medical care, fear of injections and transfusions, fear of injury, situational (e.g. airplanes, elevators, enclosed spaces), in children, e.g., loud sounds or costumed characters.

5. Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

It is where one has an irrational fear of social situations.

The diagnosis would take place only when it disrupts your daily living.

It is where the idea of socializing or speaking with the public, strangers, authority figures, or even your friends can cause anxiety and fear.

The symptoms of social phobia are:

  •         Feeling fearful with unfamiliar people or in unfamiliar situations
  •         Preoccupied with the notion of being observed or judged by strangers
  •         Having overwhelming anxiety in any social situation and not being able to cope
  •         Severe fear of public speaking

Most diagnoses are made during childhood or early adolescence.

6. Panic Disorder

In panic disorder, one feels recurrent, unexpected panic attacks.

It is characterized by two things - panic attacks and the fear of getting panic attacks.

Panic attacks are intense mental and physical sensations that are triggered by stress, anxiety, or nothing at all.

They often cause mental distress, but are also accompanied by physical symptoms:

  •         Rapid heartbeat
  •         Excessive sweating
  •         Tingling sensations or numbness in the body
  •         Depersonalization (feeling like you're outside yourself)
  •         Trouble breathing
  •         Chest pain or stomach pain
  •         Digestive problems and/or discomfort
  •         Headaches and ear pressure

They also accompany mental symptoms where one goes into a panic attack. They may experience feelings of doom, the feeling that they are about to die, or feelings of helplessness.

7. Agoraphobia

It is the fear of going out in public, open spaces, or the fear of being in unfamiliar places.

Many people who have been diagnosed with agoraphobia either never leave their home or do not engage in activities that involve traveling anywhere other than their home and office or familiar or known places.

They experience intense fear if asked to do otherwise.

It could even occur post a traumatic event.

Following are symptoms of agoraphobia:

  •         Fear of socializing with groups of people irrespective of knowing them or not
  •         Feelings of severe stress or anxiety when they're in an environment other than their home
  •         Feelings of tension and stress while engaging in regular activities like going to the store, talking with strangers, or even stepping outdoors
  •         Preoccupation with how to protect themselves in the event that some type of trouble occurs

What Are the Causes of Anxiety Disorder?

The causative factors of anxiety disorders vary in individuals and are complicated as well. Some factors may cause anxiety disorders at once while others may lead to certain factors that ultimately cause different types of anxiety disorders. 

Some possible causes include:

  •         Genetics: People with a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to develop the condition.
  •       Medical factors: Anxiety disorders could result as a symptom of a disease, recovery from a disease, surgery stress, effect of a certain medication.
  •         Environmental factors: Job-related issues, and family or relationship problems.
  •         Brain chemistry: Many psychologists suggest that anxiety disorders occur due to the misalignment of hormones and electrical signals in the brain.

Treatment for Anxiety Disorder

The treatment for different types of anxiety disorders is given as a combination of medicines, psychotherapy, and behavioral therapy.

  • Medications

To manage the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety disorder, certain medications that may be prescribed are benzodiazepines, antidepressants, tricyclics, and beta-blockers.

  • Benzodiazepines: They work well for people with anxiety, but may come with possible side effects like drowsiness and dependence. Examples include Diazepam or Valium.
  • Antidepressants: They are prescribed to treat depression, but also help with anxiety. Commonly SSRIs or serotonin reuptake inhibitors are used as they have fewer side effects than most antidepressants. Other antidepressants that may be prescribed include fluoxetine and citalopram.
  •  Tricyclics: The tricyclic class of drugs is beneficial for most types of anxiety disorders other than OCD. Some side effects that tricyclics may bring are dry mouth, dizziness, weight gain, etc. Examples include clomipramine and imipramine.
  •  Other drugs: Other drugs that may be prescribed for anxiety disorder treatment are MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), beta-blockers, and buspirone.
  • Counseling

Generally, anxiety disorders are treated with psychological counseling, which includes psychotherapy or talk therapy, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy, or a combination of therapies. CBT is the most widely used therapy that focuses on identifying the negative and harmful thought process that forms the basis for anxiety and eliminating them from the roots. Through CBT, therapists train individuals to get rid of distorted thinking and change the way they perceive situations and objects that act as anxiety triggers for them.

CBT involves exposing the individuals to their subject of fear or trigger in a controlled way and confront them. This helps to reduce sensitivity to their anxiety triggers.

  • Self-treatment

In addition to medications and therapies, one can also try out the following self-treatment tips to manage their anxiety disorder at home without clinical supervision. These tips can be beneficial to cope with mild and short-term anxiety disorders as well.

  • Stress management: Stress is an unavoidable part of life. So, it is important to learn how to manage stress. Also, make it a habit to take time off from work and relax.
  • Relaxation techniques: Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, breathing exercise, long baths to calm your thoughts and reduce the mental and physical symptoms of anxiety.
  •  Support network: Always stay in touch with your family and friends. You can also join support groups in the local area and online to help you get out of anxiety.
  •  Exercise: Regular exercise can work wonders for developing a positive self-image and mood.

Over to You...

Anxiety disorders can have a crippling effect on individuals. It is, therefore, vital to seek professional help that will elevate you from your sufferings and help you live a more productive and peaceful life. For professional help, reach out now to Cadabam’s Hospitals on +919741476476.

Treat Your Anxiety Disorder: Why Cadabam’s Hospitals

Cadabam’s Hospitals is one of the most trusted mental health care and psycho-social rehabilitation centers. We specialize in treating anxiety disorders. Our experts provide tailored solutions to patients that fit their specific needs and requirements adequately. One of the key aspects that stands us out is our commitment to deliver patients an excellent experience and 100 percent satisfaction.

Cadabam’s Hospitals has been trusted by many over the past three decades. If you’re struggling with anxiety disorder, you can trust us too. Get in touch with us today.

FAQs About Anxiety Disorders

  • Are anxiety medicines safe?

There are some types of anxiety medicines that can be habit-forming, often leading to addiction. For instance, benzodiazepine addiction is common. Over-dose of these medicines can be fatal. Taking them without the prescription of a qualified medical professional is not recommended. In short, anxiety medicines are safe as long as you’re taking them under the advice and supervision of a doctor

  • Can anxiety be cured?

Anxiety disorder is a chronic condition. There is no cure for it. It can only be managed. The anxiety treatments focus on helping you better manage your condition to a point that you live a normal life without that consistently-lingering feeling of fear and anxiousness.

  • Are anxiety and depression related?

Mental health disorders are often connected to each other; one can pave way for the other. For instance, if your anxiety is stopping you from traveling alone, that inability can lead to depression. It has been observed that many people with anxiety also have depression.

Conditions like anxiety and depression do share several symptoms. However, their course of treatment varies; their causes vary as well. But to address the question, anxiety and depression are two separate mental health disorders.

  • Had anxiety all my life. What to do?

Many people often do not heed to their anxiety symptoms until a later part of their life when they realize they had anxiety all along. This is a big reason why many don’t seek early treatment. In any case, if you have had anxiety all your life, it’s time now to do something about it.

Get the needed help from an expert and take confident strides to control this condition. Managing your anxiety to a point that it doesn’t hinder your life is possible. You just need the right guidance from an anxiety disorder specialist. Find one such specialist. 

  • What to expect from my first anxiety counseling?

The first session will be all about getting to know you and making you feel comfortable in this environment. The counselor will ask you a few questions so that they can understand your condition better.

This will also be a good time for you to get to know your counselor better so that you can trust them more; so ask them questions about their experience, as well as your own condition. Remember, you are free to share with them as much or as less depending on your comfort level.

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