There are many different types of anxiety disorders. And, by understanding the variations among these forms can help you to appreciate the need for specialized mental health treatment programs. While all forms are serious mental illnesses, they have specific causes and symptoms. The need for treatment of all anxiety disorders, though, is essential to help you to live a fuller life without fear.
Five Major Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is not a single condition. In fact, it comes in five major forms. These often distinguish themselves in when symptoms occur. If you need treatment for anxiety, the first step will be to find a professional to determine which of the following forms of the condition you suffer from.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common form of the condition. This is the type that most people think of when they hear the term “anxiety.” Most people with GAD will have anxious thoughts or feelings without any provocation. Because there is nothing that seems to cause these fears, this type of anxiety is difficult for others to understand fully.
Symptoms of this type of anxiety include restlessness, sleeping problems, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite. These symptoms often overlap with other forms of anxiety. Fortunately, like other types of anxiety, you can get treatment for GAD.
2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
For those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an inciting incident or time period caused continued feelings of fear and helplessness. Anyone can have PTSD. In fact, between 7% and 8% of the population will experience this at some point in their lives. However, those who served in the military, experienced wars, lived through natural disasters, had accidents, or lived through abuse may have higher chances of developing this disorder.
Since an event often triggers PTSD, symptoms include flashbacks and nightmares of the incident. Other symptoms of PTSD include the following:
- Feeling easily startled or constantly on edge
- Avoiding situations that remind them of the event
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
- Misplacing blame or guilt on themselves
- Sleeping problems
Anyone with this form of anxiety can find help through a professional PTSD treatment program.
Phobias, including social phobias, typically happen when someone reacts to a benign situation out of fear. For instance, someone may feel panicky in a crowded shopping center. Others may get shortness of breath when flying.
Since these phobias have a specific trigger, an anxiety treatment program for these conditions may include exposure therapy or talk therapy. Discussing your needs with the treatment team can help them to find the best way to help you overcome a phobia.
4. Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is one of the most frightening of the anxiety disorders. People who suffer from this form often experience panic attacks, which have physical symptoms of chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, and palpitations. Such symptoms can feel so intense that many people with panic attacks feel that they are having a heart attack or are dying.
Getting a physical checkup is important to distinguish physical problems from panic disorder. Once a doctor rules out cardiovascular problems, you can focus on getting anxiety treatment.
5. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) includes two phases. First, you will have obsessive, intrusive thoughts. These thoughts often do not go away until you follow through on them with compulsive behaviors such as washing your hands or checking that you locked your front door.
While these habits can briefly quiet the obsessive thoughts, over time, you must comply more often. People with OCD feel trapped by their thoughts and actions. However, this anxiety form is treatable.
Get Help for Anxiety Disorders in Any Form
If you have any of the above anxiety disorders, recognize that you don’t have to simply live with it. The constant worry and fear don’t need to run your life. Contact Promises Five Palms at 1.844.675.1022 to reach out to our professional team to find out about our anxiety treatment programs. You can get help for any form of anxiety that you have, but you have to reach out first.