Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
A fairly constant sense of worry, tension, and apprehension that becomes generalized to all areas of life. Although there are effective treatments for GAD, many people suffer with this exhausting condition without seeking professional help.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
A potentially serious anxiety disorder characterized by unwanted repetitive thoughts (obsessions) causing a sense of internal discomfort that is relieved by performing a ritualistic behaviors (compulsions). Most often OCD symptoms occur around one or more themes such as checking, contamination, aggressiveness, hoarding, language, or body-image.
A pattern of having panic attacks, worrying about having future panic attacks, and avoiding situations that may cause panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden onset of debilitating anxiety that includes physical symptoms (sweating, racing heart, difficulty breathing, tightness in chest, numbness, dizziness, de-realization) and thoughts of dying or going crazy. People often mistakenly self-diagnose panic attacks as a heart attack or other medical problem.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A response to a traumatic event that leads to prolonged symptoms of re-experiencing the event (flashbacks, memories, or dreams), increased autonomic arousal (jumpy, quick to anger, difficulty sleeping) and avoiding situations related to the traumatic event. People with PTSD also frequently suffer from a sense of chaos, depression, and despair.
Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
An unusually high level of shyness or lack of confidence about being in social situations. Often times this also includes worries about saying or doing something embarrassing. Sometimes social phobia is specific to certain situations such as meeting a new dating partner or giving speeches at work, and other times the anxiety is generalized to all social situations.