Various Types of Anxiety Disorders

By: Juliet Cohen

Anxiety is a feeling of unease. Anxiety is only considered to be a mental health problem when it is prolonged, severe and is interfering with everyday activities. Fortunately, most anxiety disorders are highly treatable with psychotherapy, drugs, or a combination of both. There are at least nine identified types of anxiety disorders, include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, specific phobia, separation anxiety, school avoidance, and agoraphobia. Anxiety disorders in children can range from a simple adjustment disorder to more difficult and debilitating disorders such as panic disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. It's normal to feel anxious when facing something difficult or dangerous, and mild anxiety can be a positive and useful experience. Excessive anxiety is often associated with other mental health problems, such as depression. Unfortunately, many people with anxiety disorders don't seek treatment because they do not believe they have a legitimate illness, or they fear the reaction of family and friends.

Sometimes anxiety can be associated with a physical illness, such as thyroid disorder. For this reason it's advisable to see your GP in order to rule out a physical cause. Symptoms occur with varying frequency and intensity but may include all of those listed above as well as trembling, chest pain, nausea, and fear. You may fear you are going crazy or dying. Some people may also have a sense of being detached from reality. Anxiety can be a long-term disorder where you feel worried most of the time about things that might go wrong. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used, as is psychotherapy and stress management techniques. Drugs used to treat anxiety include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors. Often, a combination of therapies works best.

What are the types of Anxiety disorders?

There are several major types of anxiety disorders:

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder feel anxious nearly all of the time, though they may not even know why.

2. Phobias: A phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that in reality presents little to no danger. Common phobias include fear of animals such as snakes and spiders, fear of flying, and fear of heights.

3. Social Phobia: Social anxiety disorder can be thought of as extreme shyness.

4. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): It is characterized by unwanted thoughts or behaviors that seem impossible to stop or control.

5. Separation Anxiety: Separation anxiety is a normal part of child development.

6. Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks.

Symptoms of Anxiety:

The symptoms can include:

1. Abdominal discomfort.

2. Rapid heartbeat or palpitations.

3. Shortness of breath.

4. Frequent urination

5. Feeling worried or uneasy all the time

6. An inability to concentrate

7. Depersonalisation.

Treatment For Anxiety disorders:

The treatment will depend upon which type of anxiety you are experiencing and how severe it is. Cognitive-behavior therapy is very effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Tranquilisers, such as benzodiazepine tablets, may help to relieve some short-term stress-related anxieties. However, they shouldn't be taken for long periods because of the risk of addiction. For this reason they aren't usually prescribed. Antidepressants can treat certain anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety disorder, social phobia, OCD, and anxiety associated with depression.

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