the 6 common types of anxiety disorders
There are several types of anxiety disorders, and the following article from Flash Uganda Media explains the six main types. PHOTO/The Scientific World

Most people are unaware of the various types of anxiety disorders. This article by Flash Uganda Media describes the six most common types of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is a natural human feeling that occurs from time to time.

Anxiety is only diagnosed as a disease if it causes severe suffering and prevents a person from completing at least one aspect of their life, such as education, employment, relationships, duties, or fun hobbies. 

Anxiety problems are common over time and do not usually go away on their own. 

Many people acquire depression due to the toll that anxiety takes on their lives when they are left untreated. If there are no additional obstacles or worries, anxiety can be treated by a mental health expert with short-term therapy. 

Unfortunately, there has been an increase in these cases. The pandemic is partially to blame for the skyrocketed cases of anxiety disorders.

The following article by Flash Uganda Media discusses the six main types of anxiety disorders. Many people are not familiar with them.

Phobias

Fears of specific animals, things, or situations are known as phobias. Fears of dogs, spiders, heights, blood draws, the dentist, or anything else fall into this category. These different types of phobias have different names. 

A person with a phobia may either go to great lengths to avoid the feared thing or scenario, or they will confront it, albeit with great distress. Before a fear is classified as a phobia, it must last at least six months. 

Fears that are age-appropriate are not the same as phobias; for example, a 3-year-old who is terrified of the dark is not a phobia.

Generalised Anxiety

When someone has generalised anxiety, they are concerned about a wide range of issues, including school or job performance, finances, world events, natural disasters, interpersonal relationships, and other concerns. 

These fears are difficult to manage and constantly rise to the surface, making it difficult for people to concentrate on their tasks. 

Worries occur frequently and severely enough to make it difficult to concentrate and produce or exacerbate headaches, stomach aches, muscle tension, and irritability. 

This is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders.

Panic Disorder 

Panic disorder occurs when a person has panic attacks that interfere with their daily activities in some way. 

Panic attacks can include a wide range of symptoms, such as racing heart, rapid breathing, chest pain, dizziness, nausea, or abdominal pain, blurred vision, sweating, shaking, feelings of impending doom, and feeling as if the world is not real (as if you are in a dream or a movie), or feeling as if you are outside of yourself. 

The individual may also be afraid of losing control, dying, or going insane. Panic attacks can be sparked by a specific event or might strike apparently out of nowhere. Within 15 minutes, they normally reach their peak intensity.

It is crucial to remember that panic attacks can occur without having a panic disorder. 

When a person has panic disorder, they either avoid circumstances that they believe may trigger a panic attack (such as going to the mall, going to the movies, or driving) or worry about having another episode. 

Panic attacks should not be explained by a specific phobia or social anxiety in the case of panic disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder 

A persistent dread of being assessed or evaluated by others, combined with acute discomfort when interacting with others, is characterised as a social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia). 

Someone may be terrified of saying the incorrect thing, feeling dumb, or being humiliated. 

This anxiety can manifest itself in a single scenario, such as giving a presentation at school, or it can manifest itself in a variety of settings in which a child is uncomfortable dealing with peers and adults. 

As a result, the anxious individual may avoid engaging with others while being at ease with close friends and relatives. An anxious person may also ask others to speak for them, such as ordering meals in a restaurant.

It is vital to note that shyness and social anxiety disorder are not the same things. Shyness is mild discomfort with interacting with people in specific contexts. 

In contrast, social anxiety disorder interferes with an individual’s ability to function at home, school, work, or in their social circle. Social anxiety disorder is not always indicated by sporadic, temporary discomfort in social circumstances.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were previously classed under anxiety disorders. 

Still, they are now separated since they have distinct causes, brain areas involved, and therapies that distinguish them from anxiety disorders. 

This is another common type of anxiety disorder. It is very much common among war veterans.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

When someone has a separation anxiety disorder, they are always worried about being separated from or losing a caregiver or attachment figure. 

Separation anxiety is a common component of a child’s early growth, but it can interfere with their development if it becomes extreme. 

Separation anxiety causes people to worry about what will happen to their caregiver if they are separated, such as if the caregiver will die or become ill. 

The individual is also concerned about what will happen to them if they are removed from their caretaker, such as whether they will be hurt or harmed. 

Because of their increased anxiety, the person may appear “clingy” to their caregiver and have difficulty leaving their side to go to school, remain at home alone, or sleep alone. 

Separation anxiety is frequently triggered by a stressful event or a loss. For instance, a little child who has lost a pet or a young adult who is moving out of their parent’s house for the first time.

It’s crucial to remember that anxiety is both common and manageable. If your child’s anxiety is interfering with their daily activities or duties (such as school or chores), medical care, or interpersonal interactions, talk to their primary care physician or a mental health provider about treatment options. 

As already mentioned above, anxiety can be treated by a mental health expert with short-term therapy.