Other Types Of Anxiety
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition also lists other, less common types of anxiety, including:
- selective mutism
- substance- or medication-induced anxiety disorder
- anxiety disorder due to another medical condition
Some mental health conditions are commonly referred to as anxiety disorders and may have once been classified as one, but now have a in the DSM-5. They include OCD and PTSD.
How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal reaction to many things in life that may cause us to feel threatened, challenged or under pressure. Feeling anxious from time to time is no great cause for concern. However, if you experience persistent anxiety that feels overwhelming, unforgettable and interferes with your daily life, you may be dealing with the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Always reach out to a mental health professional for expert advice on whether your symptoms meet the criteria for a diagnosis.
Phobias And Irrational Fears
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 , fear of flying, and fear of needles. In the case of a severe phobia, you might go to extreme lengths to avoid the object of your fear. Unfortunately, avoidance only strengthens the phobia.
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Symptoms Of A Panic Attack
Symptoms of a panic attack are not life threatening despite their intensity. They include:
- hot and cold flushes
Some people experience these kinds of symptoms with their regular anxiety. What makes a panic attack different is how intense and sudden the physical sensations are.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated
An anxiety disorder is like any other health problem that requires treatment. You cant will it away. Its not a matter of self-discipline or attitude. Researchers have made a lot of progress in the last few decades in treating mental health conditions. Your healthcare provider will tailor a treatment plan that works for you. Your plan may combine medication and psychotherapy.
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There Are Many Different Types Of Anxiety And Help Is Available For Them All
There are lots of different types of anxiety: some people may not fit into any of the ones that weve outlined. You may feel as though you are a mix of multiple categories.
However your anxiety manifests itself, help is available. We would recommend visiting a doctor and speaking to them about your anxiety. You can manage it and it can get better.
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What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder
With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even if theres nothing to trigger these feelings. Most days, you may worry a lot about various topics, including health, work, school and relationships. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.
Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.
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Types Of Anxiety Disorders
All anxiety disorders cause chronic and persistent forms of distress and discomfort, which can include emotional and physical symptoms, but they differ from one another based on the specific trigger of the anxiety, Jenny C. Yip, Psy.D., clinical psychologist and owner of the Renewed Freedom Center in Los Angeles, tells SELF.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobia disorders are among the most common types of anxiety disorders. Other common anxiety disorders include post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Lets dive into what each of these types of anxiety disorders looks like.
Generalized anxiety disorder causes excessive worry and anxiety that is persistent for at least six months and is significant enough to disrupt a persons normal ability to function, meaning it gets in the way of doing everyday things like meeting a friend for dinner, finishing work tasks, or even just driving to pick up the kids from school. While we all inevitably experience anxiety in our day-to-day lives, people with GAD experience this anxiety much more severely and frequently than others.
If you have GAD, you might experience the following symptoms, per the NIMH:
Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is characterized by repeated, unexpected panic attacks, as well as fear of experiencing another episode. Agoraphobia, the fear of being somewhere where escape or help would be difficult in the event of a panic attack, may also accompany a panic disorder. If you have agoraphobia, you are likely to avoid public places such as shopping malls, or confined spaces such as an airplane.
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Can Anxiety Disorders Be Prevented
You cant prevent anxiety disorders. But you can take steps to control or reduce your symptoms:
- Check out medications: Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies. Some of these contain chemicals that may make anxiety symptoms worse.
- Limit caffeine: Stop or limit how much caffeine you consume, including coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
- Live a healthy lifestyle: Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Seek help: Get counseling and support if you experienced a traumatic or disturbing event. Doing so can help prevent anxiety and other unpleasant feelings from disrupting your life.
How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Related To Anxiety Disorders
Some people feel the effects of stress in their stomachs. People with IBS have uncomfortable problems with digestion, including stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea. They also frequently have anxiety and depression, which can make symptoms worse.
The connection between IBS and anxiety comes from the nervous system partly controlling the colon. The nervous systems response to stress may affect the stomach. Among people who get treated for IBS, anywhere from 50% to 90% may also have an anxiety disorder or depression. Treatment for IBS may include stress management and psychotherapy to relieve symptoms.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Anxiety Disorders
Researchers think that various factors may contribute to anxiety. The more risk factors an individual has, the greater the likelihood that theyll develop an anxiety disorder, notes Dr. Chand.
An author of the study, Koraly Perez-Edgar, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, says that this focus on threat may be one way that anxiety begins to take hold.
Individuals who attend to aspects of the environment that they consider threatening can potentially create a cycle that strengthens biases toward threat, as well as toward the view that the environment is threatening, which can then lead to social withdrawal and anxiety, she says.
People can learn to be anxious in various situations, says Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and the founding editor of the Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.
This can occur through experiences in which anxiety or fear becomes associated with a specific stimulus or a stressful or traumatic event, by learning about something fearful, and through vicarious conditioning, he says.
Vicarious conditioning, says Dr. Abramowitz, occurs when you watch someone else experience a stressful and traumatic event like food poisoning or being bitten by a dog and come to see certain situations as dangerous.
How Do I Deal With Anxiety
There are many ways to deal with anxiety and combining a variety of approaches may help. For those with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, a combination of psychotherapy alongside a medication plan can be very effective. For those who experience anxiety from time to time, there are a variety of relaxation techniques to try that may qualm feelings of worry or fear: breathing techniques, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are just some examples of techniques to try. Finding a distraction, taking part in physical activity, and talking to someone you trust are also all great options for relieving everyday anxiety.
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What Is An Anxiety Disorder
We all feel anxious from time to time, but anxiety disorders are more than a temporary bout of worry or fear. An anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, overwhelming feelings of anxiety, worry, or fear that are intense enough to interfere with an individuals day-to-day life. People with an anxiety disorder experience stress that is out of proportion to the thing they are worrying about and are unable to put these negative thoughts aside. They may feel constantly tense and on-edge, even if they arent certain what exactly they are anxious about.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed
If you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll start with a complete medical history and physical examination.
There are no lab tests or scans that can diagnose anxiety disorders. But your provider may run some of these tests to rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms.
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Where To Find Treatment
Most treatment providers for anxiety-related disorders can be found in hospitals, clinics, private or group practices. Some also operate in schools . There is also the growing field of telehealth in which mental health workers provide their services through an internet video service, streaming media, video conferencing, or wireless communication. Telehealth is particularly useful for patients that live in remote rural locations that are far from institutions that provide mental health services. Mental health providers that work in telehealth can only provide services to patients currently located in the state in which the provider is licensed.
Can I Get Diagnosed With Anxiety By An Online Mental Health Provider
While online assessments can let you know whether you are experiencing symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder, its best to see a health care professional in person to rule out or discover and treat any physical causes of your symptoms. Only qualified health care professionals can make an accurate diagnosis and start you on a treatment plan.
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Types Of Anxiety Disorders In Children
There are several types of anxiety disorders, and children and adolescents often have more than one at a time. If your child is experiencing symptoms of anxietysuch as worrying excessively, having trouble concentrating, or becoming easily distressed or agitatedthe specialists at the Child Study Center, part of Hassenfeld Childrens Hospital at NYU Langone, diagnose the condition and recommend treatment to ease his or her symptoms.
How Can I Help Someone With Anxiety
Knowing the symptoms of anxiety can help you realize and act when someone you care about is in distress. Common anxiety behaviors include avoidance of feared situations or events , seeking reassurance, second-guessing, and irritability. The person may be engaging in all-or-nothing thinking or catastrophizing and demonstrating their belief that the worst will happen. If you notice these symptoms, avoid telling the anxious person not to worry or downplaying their feelings, which may leave them feeling misunderstood and belittled. Instead, be an active listener, express your concern, and recognize how difficult this is for them. Kindly encourage them to talk to a mental health professional or to draw on the techniques they have learned in therapy, if they are already in treatment.
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What Is Hypochondria Or Health Anxiety
What was formerly referred to as hypochondria, or hypochondriasis, has been refined into two separate conditions that involve physical expression of psychological suffering but only one of which is seen as aligned with anxiety disorders. Illness Anxiety Disorder encompasses people who have a level of general health anxiety high enough to cause psychological distress and impairment but not manifesting in specific somatic symptoms. By contrast, Somatic Symptom and Related Disorder refers to those people who present with somatic symptoms accompanied by psychological distress and preoccupation with those symptoms. Both versions of hypochondria tend to present themselves far more in medical settings than in mental health settings.
Panic Attacks & Panic Disorder
Panic disorder is a debilitating anxiety disorder that is very different from GAD. Panic disorder is not about “panicking.” It’s not about getting very worried because you might lose your job or a lion is about to attack you in the jungle. That type of panic is normal.
Panic disorder is when you experience severe feelings of doom that cause both mental and physical symptoms that can be so intense that some people call an ambulance, worried that something is dangerously wrong with their health.
Panic disorder is characterized by two things:
- Panic attacks.
- Fear of getting panic attacks.
Panic attacks are intense physical and mental sensations that can be triggered by stress, anxiety, or by nothing at all. They often involve mental distress, but are most well-known for their physical symptoms, including:
- Rapid heartbeat .
- Excessive sweating or hot/cold flashes.
- Tingling sensations, numbness, or weakness in the body.
- Depersonalization .
- Trouble breathing or feeling as though you’ve had a deep breath.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness.
- Chest pain or stomach pain.
- Digestive problems and/or discomfort.
Panic attacks may have some or all of the above physical symptoms, and may also involve unusual symptoms as well, like headaches, ear pressure, and more. All of these symptoms feel very real, which is why those that experience panic attacks often seek medical attention for their health.
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Is There Different Types Of Anxiety
I cant say i know how it feels from personal experience but I live with people who do and its awful once the panic attack starts and its really hard for them to calm down and catch a breath.
I cant tell if i have it since Im always fine externally. I grind my teeth all night and am constantly reminded to breath or to stop holding my breath. For some reason I subconsciously just hold my breath. Ive just realized my driving force to jump out of bed and do things or work is intense fear of judgment for not being productive or being a bum. I am no kiss ass but a mega people pleaser. Anything anyone needs I will do it and do it well. Sometimes it doesnt work out and my mind is racing and Im trying to find a solution and just cant and dread returning with bad news its not bad though and not a big deal I tell myself and so does everyone. Ive always been in complete denial but Im really not feeling happy and well. I think I dont feel stressed but I sometimes just want time away and take breaks but then again I have this huge dark cloud over my head and feel guilty. And then I feel pressured to hurry and work harder to catch up and feel like Im against a clock and Im in a never ending race. Im just so exhausted. Im just over thinking yeah? this is life.
What Are The Treatments For Anxiety Disorders
The main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy , medicines, or both:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is often used to treat anxiety disorders. CBT teaches you different ways of thinking and behaving. It can help you change how you react to the things that cause you to feel fear and anxiety. It may include exposure therapy. This focuses on having you confront your fears so that you will be able to do the things that you had been avoiding.
- Medicines to treat anxiety disorders include anti-anxiety medicines and certain antidepressants. Some types of medicines may work better for specific types of anxiety disorders. You should work closely with your health care provider to identify which medicine is best for you. You may need to try more than one medicine before you can find the right one.
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
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What Other Disorders Are Related To Anxiety
Both post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder are closely linked to anxiety and, until recently, were classified an anxiety disorders. People with OCD engage compulsively in repetitive rituals and non-productive behaviors to as a way to disarm relentless anxiety-provoking thoughts . Brain imaging studies highlight malfunction of a specific neural circuit that both overalerts to danger and misreads signals of safety. The ritual is meant to restore a sense of safety.
PTSD involves malfunction in other neural nodes in circuits of fear and safety. Like OCD, PTSD is characterized by a misreading of danger signals it is, however, typically generated by a highly stressful situation threatening bodily danger. Months and even years later the memory of that event is so vividly triggered by non-threatening experiences it dictates safety measures that are wildly out of place and overwhelm everyday activities. Like some anxiety disorders, such as phobias, PTSD may respond to treatment involving exposure to the fear-triggering stimulus.
Anxiety Disorders: An Overview
In an anxiety-related disorder, your fear or worry does not go away and can get worse over time. It can influence your life to the extent that it can interfere with daily activities like school, work and/or relationships. Fear, stress, and anxiety are “normal feelings and experiences” but they are completely different than suffering from any of the seven diagnosable disorders plus substance-induced anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and trauma- or stressor-related disorders.
Anxiety disorders keep people from sleeping, concentrating, talking to others, or even leaving their home. Anxiety that may need treatment is often irrational, overwhelming, and disproportionate to the situation. It makes sufferers feel as though they have no control over their feelings, and it can involve severe physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, or trembling. It becomes classified as a disorder when normal anxiety becomes irrational and begins to recur and interfere with daily life.
But, as an example, what if someone will not leave their home for extended periods of time because they are afraid of being in a crowd or being reminded of a past traumatic event. That is not a “normal feeling or experience.”
If you think you might be struggling with an anxiety disorder, you’re not alone:
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