What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?
There are several recognized types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Panic disorder: People with this condition have feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. Other symptoms of a panic attack include sweating, chest pain, palpitations (unusually strong or irregular heartbeats), and a feeling of choking, which may make the person feel like he or she is having a heart attack or “going crazy.”
- Social anxiety disorder: Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder involves overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule.
- Specific phobias: A specific phobia is an intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as snakes, heights, or flying. The level of fear is usually inappropriate to the situation and may cause the person to avoid common, everyday situations.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety.
A fellow blogger and follower of mine has all great content regarding anxiety, I highly encourage those who struggle with anxiety, fear, panic, and/or agoraphobia to check out his website Time For Anxiety. I personally struggle with social anxiety disorder (SAD) at times and it can be difficult for me to get through the tough times in social settings. This fellow blogger was kind enough to share some of his views about anxiety with me that really helped me, as I’m sure it will for you too. Below are a few words from him:
Introduction to anxiety – The anxious mind is a tornado of fear based thoughts that seem to be never ending. A brain loaded with anxiety can create disaster out of the innocuous. It is important to remember that these thoughts, feelings, and sensations are all a creation of the mind, and not a result of a person’s environment. People with anxiety may believe that their mental discomfort comes from their parents, their environment, a mean boss, or a hidden health emergency. All of these excuses are wrong. Anxiety may be enhanced by these reasons, but it is all a creation of the individual.
There is good news. Anxiety is one of the most easily treatable conditions in the wide world of mental health issues. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it is true. The part that is most enticing is that medication is not needed for a person to transform from an anxious thinker to someone who can handle any situation or thought that is thrown their way. Medication for anxiety does help to calm a person down who finds themselves in the depths of an anxious episode. This is good, but when the medication fades away the anxiety will come back. It is an endless cycle of anxiety, pills, anxiety, pills. The medication is merely a band aid.
Every person has within themselves all of the tools necessary to confront their anxiety and take their lives back. It is important to remember that everyone has anxiety, but those who are not affected by their anxiety have the ability to not give into the fear. Anxiety is important. It is a mental process that has evolved over time to protect humans against predators. Sadly, the anxious brain was molded during the times when people had to worry about dangerous animals. We still have the anxiety, but the fear it used to react to perfectly is no longer a part of our daily lives. We now worry about our health, speaking in public, getting a job, and plenty of other life events that are scary, but in no way life-threatening.
Fight or flight is something everyone with anxiety experiences. When faced with anxiety we can choose to stare it in the face, or we can choose to run from it. I’m here to tell you that running from your anxious thoughts only gives them more strength. It is frightening whenever your heart feels like it is going to pound out of your chest, or your mind starts creating the most frightening of thoughts. Those events feel real. Those sensations can give the person feeling them the sense that their world is crashing down, but what happens a few minutes after those sensations appear? They go away. They always go away. The mind and body will always find their way back into a normal flow, perhaps a little bit shaken, but closer to normal than a few moments ago.
Anxiety is real. Fear is real. Both anxiety and fear will be with all of us forever. The key is to accept these emotions as a part of life that everyone experiences. Let these feelings in, take them for what they really are, and believe that you will not let those emotions control your life anymore.