It is commonly believed that anxiety is of one form only. However, there exist many different types of anxiety disorders. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of anxiety, please consult the best mental health specialist in Karachi or your region at your earliest.
Below are some of the most common types of anxiety disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) often feel worried and anxious, at least for six months. It is characterized by chronic anxiety. Patients experience exaggerated worry and tension not only in stressful situations, but even when dealing with everyday matters such as household chores.
Symptoms of GAD include:
- Being edgy
- Muscular tension
- Trouble with concentration and reduced concentration span
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Getting insufficient or unsatisfying sleep
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD occurs when a person gets caught up in cycles of obsession and compulsion. It is an anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behavior can be seen in simple tasks such as washing hands, counting, checking locks, or cleaning. These tasks are performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. However, performing them only provides temporary relief, and an inability to perform those triggers further distress.
Examples of obsession symptoms include:
- Fear of being contaminated by touching objects that others have touched
- Doubts about locking the door or turning off the stove
- Intense stress in case of objects not being orderly and symmetrical
- Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions, such as shaking hands
- Doubting and having difficulty tolerating uncertainty
- Aggressive or horrific thoughts about losing control and harming yourself or others
- Unwanted thoughts, including aggression, or sexual or religious subjects
Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include:
- Hand-washing until the skin becomes raw
- Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they are locked
- Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it is off
- Counting in certain patterns
- Silently repeating a prayer, word or phrase
- Arranging your canned goods to face the same way
- Panic Disorder
Another type of anxiety disorder is panic disorder. It is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear coupled with physical symptoms that can include chest pain, heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, and abdominal distress.
- Heart palpitations, a pounding heartbeat, or an accelerated heart rate
- Trembling or shaking
- Sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking
- Feelings of impending doom
- Feelings of losing control
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that often develops after exposure to a trauma which causes immense physical or mental harm. Such traumatic events include violent personal assaults, disasters, accidents, military combat etc.
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Another common type of anxiety disorder is Social Anxiety Disorder. It is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social and performance situations. It includes the fear of interacting with people or speaking in formal or informal situations in front of a crowd.
Anxiety can severely hamper everyday lives of individuals. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of any kind of anxiety, please visit the best mental health specialist in Lahore or your city of residence. However, timely treatment can improve quality of life and prevent more severe psychological problems.