As the most common mental disorder in the US, anxiety affects more than 40 million adults and 31.9% of adolescents between 13 and 18 years old, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Despite so many individuals dealing with the symptoms of anxiety daily, a large part of our culture doesn’t take anxiety seriously and doesn’t understand the effect it can have on those who suffer from it.
While researchers have pinpointed certain environmental and genetic reasons for why anxiety is so prevalent, it can be difficult to diagnose anxiety correctly, since it is often combined with other factors and conditions, such as a history of drug use and depression. In this article, we will cover the five major types of anxiety disorders and how finding the right mental health treatment center is paramount to regaining control over your thoughts and your life.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are five different types of anxiety that are commonly diagnosed, and treatment options vary depending on the type. Here is a brief overview and the common types of anxiety recognized by psychologists and therapists.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a chronic condition in which the sufferer experiences anxiety, worry, and tension. This often causes insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and other symptoms that can be worsened by triggering events. People with GAD also find it difficult to concentrate, since their mind and body are in a constant state of “fight or flight.”
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by experiencing unwanted thoughts that won’t go away or compulsions that you are unable to resist. Some people who are diagnosed with this disorder will show repetitive behaviors, such as washing their hands over and over or cleaning obsessively. Extreme cases of OCD must be treated through medication and therapy to help the sufferer live a more productive life.
3. Panic Disorder
Panic disorder happens when the sufferer experiences intense fear, often unprovoked. This fear comes with physical symptoms that can feel like a heart attack, including difficulty breathing, dizziness, chest pain, and heart palpitations. Someone who experiences a full-blown panic attack usually feels like they are dying or that something is physically wrong with their heart.
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after an individual has experienced a traumatic event in life, such as a natural disaster, abuse, military combat, or serious accident. Even when a significant amount of time has passed, memories of the event can trigger panic attacks and leave the sufferer stuck in a kind of repeating “fight or flight” mode.
5. Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder causes the sufferer to feel excessively anxious about encountering other people in everyday social situations. It can cause an individual intense fear and discomfort, particularly when in a crowd, and can result in missed opportunities to make friends and network when both are needed for personal fulfillment and happiness.
Finding the Right Treatment Options
While anxiety is a prevailing mental health disorder in our culture, it can easily lead to self-medication, including alcohol and drug abuse. The different types of anxiety can all be treated through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and many who have suffered from an anxiety disorder have found relief through medication. Whether that means finding a Hypnotherapist in Manchester or by finding a therapist online, just know that there are many treatment options available. If you or a loved one is experiencing an anxiety disorder, it is important to seek professional help. Doing so can lead to recovery and healing.