When feelings of anxiety and fear are triggered off due to certain physical and environmental situations, and these situations tend to reoccur over time, it implies a mental health issue referred to as Anxiety Disorder. Anxiety disorders may vary in the intensity in which they are manifested and the symptoms that are experienced by the individual suffering from the disorder. Based on these two factors anxiety disorders can be categorized into seven types of mental disorders.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Agoraphobia – It is the fear of public places or being in unfamiliar surroundings. People suffering from Agoraphobia prefer staying indoors to avoid meeting others. They stay away from situations which require them to socialize. “I’ve had patients [with agoraphobia] who are afraid to get emotionally aroused – they don’t want to get really happy, they don’t want to get real sad, they don’t want to get angry,” says clinical psychologist Karen Cassiday. Moreover, they often feel insecure about traveling to places other than their office, nearby stores or places that they are accustomed to. Panic attacks are common and repeated panic attacks are experienced by individuals when they are in public places resulting in agoraphobia. This might also hold true in the case of an encounter with a large group of unknown people, though this may be lesser with chat rooms for depression and anxiety. Other causes may be traumatic experiences in the past, fear of losing control, and etc.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – An event that causes harm to the spiritual, physical, psychological or emotional aspect of an individual is known as a traumatic event. These events may have happened once in a lifetime, but they are capable of putting a person in a perpetual state of anxiety and fear long after they have occurred, and sometimes for the rest of their lives. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs because people feel vulnerable and threatened just as they may have felt at the time they witnessed the event. While suffering from this condition, people tend to re-experience the distress that they or someone close to them may have faced in the past.
- Social Phobia – Fear of social situations is known as Social Phobia. Such a situation occurs when fear and anxiety of being in public exceeds the normal level of shyness or nervousness. People suffering from this phobia have an overarching fear of embarrassing themselves in social situations. They fear that those they interact with may remark, joke about or judge them. They also fear to speak in public and interacting with people in authority or to strangers. “It’s not a phobia of being in social situations, it’s being terrified of how people are going to perceive you,” explains Dr. Jerry Bubrick, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute.
- Specific Phobias – Extreme fear of insects, animals, scenarios, objects, and more are referred to as Phobias. Phobias may vary in the intensity at which they are experienced by people. While some may feel uncomfortable around the particular cause of their phobia, others may experience stress, anxiety and even fear of death. Phobias can be managed without treatment if they are not of high intensity – people may simply avoid these vulnerable situations.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – This condition involves the individual being obsessed with fearful or negative thoughts that they cannot get rid of. There is a compulsion to perform certain specific actions time and again to avoid the fearful outcomes that they are scared of. People may either suffer from the obsession, compulsion or both. The person will be stressed if he fails to respond to the compulsion of acting as per their obsession because they fear that things might go wrong otherwise. People suffering from this condition find it difficult to control.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – It is the most common type of Anxiety Disorder. It refers to a condition in which individuals experience nervousness, stress and physical or mental tension almost always, even for the simplest of things. They are unable to get over the feeling of anxiety. This disrupts the normal functioning of day to day life. It is often without a particular cause of anxiety. It may be an irrational fear without any reason.
- Panic disorder – When an individual experiences extreme mental and physical symptoms due to an intense fear of condemnation or catastrophic results, it is known as a Panic Disorder. It mainly causes mental stress due to excessive worrying. It extends to such a degree that people may have to be hospitalized due to its adverse effects on health. Assistance may also be required. And if you personally suffer from anxiety, you’re at an even greater risk of dealing with panic attacks, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. explains.