Anxiety is normal. It is when it becomes too much, that it begins to pose a problem to one’s health and well-being. The most common type of Anxiety Disorder is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). And listed below is a broad classification of the different kinds of Anxiety Disorders.
Anxiety disorder is typically defined as a state of excessive worrying, irrational fear and dread. Depending on the symptoms, anxiety disorders are classified into:
- panic disorder,
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),
- social phobia (or social anxiety disorder),
- specific phobias, and
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear and dread.
Panic Disorder: sudden attacks of terror, usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, or dizziness. Often mistaken for a heart attack. People having a panic attack sometimes believe they are actually having a heart attack and are going to die. Panic attacks usually produce a sense of unreality, a fear of impending doom, or a fear of losing control.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder(OCD): People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have persistent, upsetting thoughts (obsessions) and use rituals (compulsions) to control the anxiety these thoughts produce.
For example, the person having an OCD might be obsessed with germs or dirt, and so will develop a compulsion to wash hands over and over again. Other common rituals are a need to repeatedly check things, touch things (especially in a particular sequence), or count things.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.
Social phobia or social anxiety disorder: A person suffering from Social phobia or social anxiety disorder displays overwhelming anxiety and becomes extremely self-conscious in everyday social situations. Such a person is constantly worried about being embarrassed in front of others.
Specific phobia where the person experiences an an intense, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Fear of closed spaces, heights, escalators, tunnels, are some of the common types of phobia.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD) is diagnosed when worrying becomes a a habit. The person with Generalized Anxiety Disorder is constantly worrying even though there is no valid reason for it. The person may imagine all kinds of possible dangers that can happen and is overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work.