Anxiety is natural. It says “beware, be careful, back off!”
But when that response to danger sounds constantly or unnecessarily, anxiety can get in the way of everyday functioning.
There are seven different types of anxiety as follows:
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is the most common anxiety type, affecting millions worldwide. GAD sufferers are chronically worried, and often anxious, without reasons they can name or pin down.
GAD symptoms often manifest physically and may include:
Negative or catastrophic thinking patterns
2. Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is much more than a bit of shyness or unease in front of a crowd. When the prospect of socializing, public speaking, or dealing with strangers stirs up debilitating fear and withdrawal, social anxiety is the likely culprit.
The following issues often accompany this condition:
Feelings of fear and hopelessness when faced with unfamiliar people or places
Difficulty coping or overcoming social situations
Severe “stage fright”
Anxiety about the idea of social situations, even when not in one
Obsession over being watched, observed, or judged by strangers
Intense issues meeting new people or voicing up when you need to speak
3. Anxiety Attacks (Panic Disorder)
Anxiety or panic attacks are repeated, unexpected surges of fear and discomfort. Sufferers endure them, along with worry that another attack will occur soon. Panic disorder is a debilitating and severe sense of doom, so intense that some people are physically affected and terrified for their health.
Shortness of breath
Unfamiliar bodily sensations or numbness
Depersonalization or an “out of body” sense
Chest or stomach pain
Feeling of doom, or impending death
Feeling like you’re not yourself
Feeling of helplessness
Anxiety associated with going out in public, open spaces, or unfamiliar places, is agoraphobia. This type of anxiety often partners with panic disorder to further exacerbate a deep fear of the outside world.
Typical symptoms include:
Extreme fear of socializing
Severe stress or anxiety when not at home or in control
Stress and upset when doing everyday tasks like shopping around new people
Preoccupation with self-protection and safety
5. Specific Phobias
Phobias are characterized by catastrophizing (worst case thinking) or avoidance. Phobias may become functionally disruptive when you:
Experience extreme fear of situations that may cause interaction with phobia
Feel immediate terror in the presence of your phobia
Are unable to rein in fears, however irrational
Take extreme measures to avoid facing your phobia
Limit the quality of normal life because of fear
6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is extreme anxiety, occurring after surviving or witnessing a traumatic event. Sufferers require professional help, to alleviate the perpetual anxiety, and provide healthy coping mechanisms.
Re-experiencing flashbacks, nightmares, and vivid memories
Strong or overwhelming stress response to trauma triggers
Persistent worry about trauma recurrence
Emotional difficulties, detachment, fatalism, hostility, and acute distrust or sadness
7. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be particularly destructive and debilitating. A confusing mix of compulsions and obsessions can dismantle life and relationships quickly. Obsessions arise from thoughts and compulsive behaviors. Both are specific preoccupations that will not let up. Symptoms exhibit themselves in a myriad of ways:
Repetitive unwanted thoughts and ideas
Worries about contamination
Images of hurting loved ones
Persistent need to check things
Constant arranging of items
If you find you spend way too much time worried, on edge, or plagued by irrational fear, it’s time to examine what’s going on.
Click here to learn more about anxiety counselling in Glasgow.