Disorders

Different Types of Anxiety

They can be defined as the constant feeling of anxiety. This is because feeling anxiety occasionally is a normal occurrence for the average person. It is also relatively brief and mild in nature. On the other hand, individuals with anxiety disorders experience anxiety that lasts longer and is quite intense. They can be in the state of anxiety for several hours or a couple of days hence the name. It is the most common problem of mental health with women are the highest number of victims.

Anxiety disorders are manifested in 6 major categories. These include panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, phobias, acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (popularly known as OCD).

All the above types of anxiety disorders are unique but have several similarities as follows:
• Victims tend to exhibit fear that is both excessive and irrational.
• Victims of these disorders also experience tense and apprehensive feelings.
• All victims also experience extreme difficulty in properly managing everyday tasks and tasks that have significant distress.

Types of Anxiety disorder

1. Panic disorder

It is characterized by panic attacks that are both unexpected and repeated. Sometimes it is accompanied by agoraphobia, especially one avoids or endures certain situations that had significant distress.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include the following:
• Victim will experience some chest pain or some level of discomfort.
• The victim may fell nausea or dizziness.
• A victim may start shaking or trembling.
• The most common symptom in most victims is the feeling of shortness of breath.

Significant cognitive symptoms are the sense of suffocation and having a heart attack. Behavioral symptoms are majorly exhibited by the avoidance of areas the victim previously experienced panic attacks. Avoidance of malls, traveling, making queues and strenuous exercise by the victim.

2. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

This is popularly known to many as OCD. It is characterized by obsessions or compulsions that are recurrent in nature, can lead to severe impairment, significant distress or time wastage. Obsessions are images, thoughts, and urges that are intrusive or uninvited. These repeatedly surface on one’s mind. Compulsions, on the other hand, are rituals or behaviors that an individual uses to suppress or reduce obsessive thoughts.

Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder are muscle tension and discomfort. Cognitive symptoms are for instance a person thinking that if he touches a door handle, he will infect his whole family with germs. Behavioral symptoms, on the other hand, include avoiding public washrooms or doors. It can also be exhibited by excessive cleaning, washing or even checking things.

3. Acute Stress Disorder

It usually occurs after a person witnesses or experiences that were life threatening or posed some threat to physical injury. It is known to occur roughly a month the ordeal. The victim in most cases has disturbing memories of the traumatic event, and this causes an emotive reaction of reliving the ordeal.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include:

• A general feeling of restlessness. Difficulty in concentrating and sleeping.
• A startle response that is exaggerated.
• The victim will feel tense and constantly on edge.

Behavioral symptoms are the avoidance of scenarios which instigate traumatic recollections. It can also be an emotional reaction that is intense or the lack of emotional responsiveness. Cognitive symptoms are, for instance, the feeling that you will get trapped and perish in a car crash.

4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorders

It is the development of individual symptoms due to exposure to a significant source of traumatic stress. It usually involves helplessness, horror or intense fear. Symptoms can take three months to manifest but may delay up to a couple of years. The traumatic event is relived via flashbacks, dreams that are4 distressing and intrusive memories.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include:

• A victim having sleep disturbances and nightmares.
• A victim may experience outbursts of anger or irritability.
• A victim can also have hyper vigilance for danger.

Behavioral symptoms include avoidance of feelings, thoughts, conversations, places, people or activities that have some relation to the trauma. Cognitive symptoms, on the other hand, may include a victim saying people should not be trusted.

5. General Anxiety Disorder

It involves excessive worry and anxiety. It occurs for several days for a minimum period of 6 months. Victims are usually not able to control feelings of fear.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include:

• Tension in the muscles.
• Being unable to relax.
• Feeling of restlessness and irritability.
• Sleep that is disturbed by the feeling of worry.

Behavioral symptoms include a victim avoiding news and newspapers. It can also be through the victim participating in limited activities because of excessive concerns over the possible outcome. Cognitive symptoms are for instance worrying that something is going to go wrong.

These disorders are typically misunderstood; it is only through learning more about them that we can understand and live better with their victims.