Five Major Types Of Anxiety

Gabriel Wong, Editor

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The Five Major Types of Anxiety

Despite what people think, there are actually several types of anxiety and they all affect a life to extreme degrees. They can range from minor worrying to full blown panic attacks. They are all life changing conditions and it is important to know at least the basics about them.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, also known as GAD, is a disorder characterized by chronic anxiety and exaggerated worry. The symptoms will always be present, even if there is nothing to worry about. It changes the way the subject interacts with people, how they perform in a work/school environment, and personal health.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Paranoia
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Sleep problems, such as difficulty sleeping or unsatisfying sleep


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

This disorder is very widespread and known better as OCD. However, OCD is heavily misrepresented by society as excessive neatness, when in actuality it is only one of the symptoms. The disorder is actually far more serbehaviour and personality as well as life in general

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Excessive cleanliness
  • Heavy belief in superstitions/taboo
  • Violent thoughts toward others or self
  • Need for symmetry
  • Compulsion
    • Compulsions are actions based off of obsessive thoughts, such as
      • Cleaning/organizing constantly
      • Repeatedly checking things that are already right, such as locked doors or active/inactive devices
      • Counting or other repetitive actions
  • Uncontrollable actions, despite knowledge of their redundancy
  • Spends 1+ hour a day on obsessive thought/behaviors
  • No pleasure in appeasing compulsions, other than relief from anxiety
  • Motor tics, such as twitching or unnecessary vocalizing


Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is self-explanatory. It is a disorder in which the victim feels panic toward their life. They may have panic attacks and severe paranoia. Most of the time the disorder can be brought out by a certain person, object, scenario, etc.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal distress


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is a disorder that comes from a stressful, dangerous, or extremely surprising situation. PTSD can last from 6 months to your entire life. The symptoms appear from 3 months to a year after the event. The illness varies on a case-to-case basis, but most are relatively the same.

To Be Diagnosed, You Need:

  • At least one re-experiencing symptom
  • At least one avoidance symptom
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
  • At least two cognition and mood symptoms

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Staying away from triggers
  • Avoiding thoughts or feelings from the events
  • Feeling tense or on edge
  • Trouble remembering key features of the event
  • Negative thoughts about oneself or others
  • Distorted feelings of blame and guilt


Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

Occasional anxiety is normal for a human life. However, social anxiety disorder goes beyond temporary fear and nervousness. The anxiety will not give way to a more “normal” state of mind. In fact, most of the time it can get worse. The symptoms interfere with all aspect of a social life. There are almost no situations in which the subject would not have anxiety about the situation.

Common Symptoms

  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating, losing train of thought
  • Being irritable
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Sleep problems, difficulty falling and staying asleep