Anxiety disorders are among some of the most prevalent mental health conditions, with 40 million adults impacted in the United States alone according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America or ADAA. With this in mind, you may be wondering about the different types of anxiety and their symptoms.
Types Of Anxiety
Here are some common anxiety disorders and their symptoms.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is very much what it sounds like. Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD refers to an anxiety disorder that causes excessive worry over a number of different events, activities, or topics. Signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder include but are not limited to:
- Excessive worry
- Restlessness or fatigue
- Feeling keyed up or on-edge
- Trouble concentrating or focusing
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance
- G.I. distress
To receive a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, you must experience excessive anxiety or worry for at least six months on most days. Additionally, your symptoms must not be better described by or attributed solely to another diagnosis. It is possible to have more than one anxiety disorder, however, so keep that in mind.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder that relates specifically to social situations. It is characterized by a marked, ongoing fear of social situations. Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder may include but are not limited to:
- Intense worry surrounding social situations.
- Fear of situations where you may be judged
- Fear of humiliation or embarrassment related to social situations.
- Anticipatory anxiety of social events or situations.
- Avoidance of social situations.
- Fear of or difficulty interacting with other people.
- Physical anxiety-related symptoms, such as G.I. distress, nausea, sweating or shaking, and so on.
Social Anxiety Disorder can impact your life in many different ways, and it’s not easy to live with. The good news is that, with treatment, symptoms can improve tremendously.
Panic Disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks. During a panic attack, someone might experience:
- Racing heart or heart palpitations
- Racing thoughts
- Shaking or trembling
- Feeling a sensation of tightness in the chest
- Feelings of impending doom
- Fear of losing control
- Shortness of breath
- G.I. distress
Other Types Of Anxiety
Other diagnoses under the category of anxiety disorders in the DSM include but aren’t limited to Agoraphobia, Specific Phobias, Selective Mutism, Substance/Medication-Induced Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety Disorder Due to Another Medical Condition, Other Specified Anxiety Disorder, and Unspecified Anxiety Disorder. If you think that you may have an anxiety disorder or another similar condition, it is important to see a medical or mental health professional who can give you a proper diagnosis.
Forms of therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are proven effective for people with anxiety disorders when conducted both in online settings and face to face. Counseling and therapy can help with thought reframe, developing coping skills to use in and outside of a therapeutic setting, and more. Despite the availability and effectiveness of treatment for anxiety disorders, many do not get help. If you are struggling, know that there is hope and that your symptoms can improve.
Find A Therapist
Whether you’re facing symptoms of anxiety or another concern, seeing a mental health professional can help. Therapy is a safe space where you can talk about what’s on your mind and get the support that you need. You can find a provider by asking your doctor for a referral, conducting a web search or using an online directory, checking with your insurance company to see who they cover, or by using an online therapy website like MyTherapist.
Online therapy is often more affordable than traditional in-person therapy or counseling is in the absence of insurance, and when you sign up for a website like MyTherapist, you will take a questionnaire that will help you find the right fit. MyTherapist allows you to connect with your provider from anywhere with a reliable internet connection, and all of the providers on the platform are licensed. Whether you seek help in person or online, you deserve quality care, so don’t hesitate to reach out.