Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety becomes a mental disorder when you have an overwhelming feeling of fear which keeps you from everyday activities and situations.

There are five major types of anxiety disorders:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) involves constant worrying, unrelieved tension and nervousness which are not in proportion to what’s happening. You may feel extreme, continual distress about life in general. Symptoms include: being unable to relax, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, loss of breath, headaches and muscle tension.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

If you have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), you feel that you need to engage in repetitive or checking behaviors or need to touch things in a certain order. Performing rituals does not reduce the anxiety of someone with OCD – it may even upset you more. The symptoms of OCD can interfere with daily life, even to the extent that you may not be able to go to school or work.

Panic Disorder ("Panic Attacks")

According the American Psychiatric Association, a panic attack is a sudden surge of uncontrollable, overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. If you experience a panic attack, you may believe that you are having a heart attack or that you are about to die. Panic attacks can’t be predicted, so you may worry about the next attack, which can lead to constant worrying and affect your ability to cope with daily life.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) results from an extremely frightening, dangerous event. PTSD sufferers often relive the original disturbing event in flashbacks or nightmares, and continue to feel the same intense stress and fear. PTSD may cause you to avoid everything that reminds you of the original event. PTSD may also lead to bursts of rage.

Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia

Social anxiety disorder can cause fear of situations in which you feel that other people are watching you closely. People with social anxiety disorder feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable in everyday social situations because they fear being judged or laughed at. Physical symptoms can include shaking, sweating, or nausea. This may cause you to avoid public situations or all kinds of social interaction.