The different types of anxiety

on Wed 8 Oct

The term anxiety disorder covers a number of different types of anxiety with one sweeping term.  About 13% of the country is said to suffer with some sort of anxiety... that's as many as 7.8M people in the UK.  Anxiety usually manifests in an individual by the age of 22 and depression can often by an accompanying condition.  The following are differing types of anxiety:


Generalised Anxiety Disorder - most common form of anxiety among adults.  Typically there is a feeling of a persistent worry about normal, everyday things, symptoms can be:

  • ongoing worry and tension
  • unrealistic view of problems and issues
  • feeling of sickness
  • feeling tired
  • frequent urination
  • insomnia (mild or severe)
  • sweating and or trembling
  • headaches
  • being on edge
  • difficulty concentrating

Panic Disorder - have you heard of people saying that they suffer from repeated panic attacks?  That moment when an individual is overcome with terror and a number of psychological symptoms.  The danger with this disorder is that people often go on to develop worsening conditions such as full blown agoraphobia.  Symptoms can be:

  • Sickness and upset stomach feeling they need the toilet
  • shakes and lightheartedness
  • fear, terror and anxiety
  • racing heartbeat
  • chest pain and tightness of the chest
  • rapid breathing


Phobias - irrational or semi-irrational fears such as spiders, heights or water.  There are two specific sub-types of phobias, they are agoraphobia and social anxiety.


Agoraphobia - Most people believe that agoraphobia is the fear leaving the home. It is actually a fear embarrassing or emotionally difficult situations, often involving other people.  Agoraphobics often have panic attacks and it is said to be closely related to the panic disorder.  A number of sufferers do have issues with everyday tasks such as driving, shopping and leaving the home.


Social Anxiety Disorder - Although similar to agoraphobia, those people suffering from social anxiety disorder irrational responses to social interactions.  This could be fear of public speaking or talking to larger groups.  Social anxiety is very common and starts often when in childhood.


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - repetitive obsessions such  as washing hands, cleaning house, and checking locks, cars etc trigger anxiety if the routine is not completed.  This resulting anxiety can be extreme and be very similar to panic disorder.  It frequently grows during childhood or adolescence.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, or battle field trauma, is the name given to those recurring feelings of panic which were initially caused by an extremely stressful life threatening situation.  Although PTSD is known about it military veterans, PTSD can be found in any person that has suffered exposure to a life threatening situation or repeated exposure to this environment.  Triggers can cause the mind to replay the events, dreams, noises, smell etc all can trigger an episode.  Depression is often an accompanying issue.


Separation Anxiety Disorder - separation anxiety disorder creates an extreme emotional reaction when separation occurs from a person,or place or physical object, the resultant symptom can be those of the panic attack.


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