​Types of ​anxiety disorders

There are a plethora of anxiety disorders you could be experiencing.

Most people with anxiety symptoms may be dealing with more than one type of anxiety. If you feel like any of these anxiety disorders apply to you, it is highly advisable that you visit a mental health professional as soon as possible.

Different types of anxiety

Panic disorders

Panic attacks are recurrent, causing behavior to change as a result of them. If you have a panic disorder, you will be constantly worried about having another panic attack. People suffering from a panic disorder also change their behavior because of their panic attacks.

​Specific phobias

We all fear certain objects, experiences, and animals. However, some of us have an irrational fear of certain things - our fears are completely disproportionate to the danger these stimuli present. It is difficult to control these fears, even when we are aware of them. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

When someone goes through a traumatic event that endangers their life or that of others, they suffer from PTSD. These incidents are traumatising because people feel helpless, horrified and scared. Examples of dangerous, life-threatening incidents include car accidents, bushfires and war.

The symptoms of PTSD are varying  - people will relive the event and experience the fear, horror and helplessness at the time. Reliving the event causes the person to be on the lookout for danger, thus leaving them struggling to concentrate, sleep and perform other basic functions. Since the memories are so painful, they are likely to avoid places, people, thoughts or feelings associated with the event. The constant struggle with past events sees them lose interest in day-to-day activities and feel emotionally cut off from friends and family.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

There are moments when we feel anxious like during a competitive game or when we are doing an exam. This makes us more alert and encourages us to work faster than we normally do.

GAD is a type of anxiety where people feel anxious and worried most of the time and not just when circumstances are stressful. The cause for concern can be anything related to their work, personal and social life - even seemingly normal activities like household chores cause stress and worry. The constant worrying and stressing is persistent and interferes in normal lives.

Who will deal with GAD and why?

Nearly 6 per cent of the population will deal with GAD in their lifetime. It can strike strike anyone at any age, including children though it commonly starts at around 30 years of age. Children experience GAD due to pressure to perform at school, sports, punctuality and, even, war and natural disasters.

​Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Anxious thoughts influence behavior. Under normal circumstances, this is a positive because we are more cautious in the right situations. But with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), these anxious thoughts persist - they continue to recur, which ultimately prompts an unhealthy behavioral pattern.

Some of us can feel ashamed of our compulsions and chose to hide them rather than talk about them. This, unfortunately, only delays seeking treatment. OCD can hurt in other ways too - for example, children with OCD may not want to go to school due to shame about their compulsions, which means falling behind peers in education.

3% of the population in Australia experience some sort of OCD in their lifetimes and all of us can experience OCD at any time of our lives even children as young as 6 and 7.

OCD has environmental and biological causes, given that experts have made a connection between neuro-chemicals and abnormal levels of serotonin (the chemical responsible for transferring messages between the brain).

​Causes of ​anxiety

Understand the indicators of anxiety

Signs and symptoms of anxiety

Learn about the causes of anxiety

Anxiety management

Learn how to manage your anxiety

Learn how to manage your anxiety better

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