9 Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are many different types of anxiety disorders defined today. While occasional anxiety is a normal part of life, anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear and often interfere with an individual’s ability to complete daily actitvities.

In this article, you will learn more about the different types of anxiety disorders.

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in America. It affects nearly 40 million people, not including children and adolescents.
Professionals use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to analyze and diagnose patients struggling with mental health disorders. It is more commonly called the DSM5 today. In this manual, there are numerous types of anxiety disorders.

Before the fifth version of the DSM was created, obsessive-compulsive disorder was listed as an anxiety disorder. Now, as it has evolved, it has been given its category. Selective mutism, anxiety due to a medical condition, and other or unspecified anxiety are some of the less commonly diagnosed disorders.

Here are 9 different types of anxiety disorders.

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

According to the National Institute on Mental Health, close to 3 million people have a generalized anxiety disorder. Women are most affected, and those in the age group between 30 and 60.

To be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, a person struggles with their anxiety for six months or longer. By struggling, they have multiple areas in which they worry excessively, including work, home, personal relationships, and more. The days they worry are greater than the days they do not.

Physical symptoms for generalized anxiety disorder include restlessness, weight changes, sleep disturbances, inability to concentrate, fatigue, and irritability.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder.

2. Panic Disorder

Panic attacks are more intense than general anxiety. They can be terrifying. They are intense because the fight or flight response takes place in the body. They appear out of nowhere and for seemingly no reason at all. It is sort of like a glitch in the way your body responds to situations.

Your body thinks there is a danger when there is not.

Physical symptoms of panic attacks can include shortness of breath, checking your pulse due to thinking you may be having heart problems, pacing, and even fainting when the shorter breaths do not allow enough oxygen to get to the brain.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder

Affecting more than 15 million people, social anxiety disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed anxiety disorders. Also known as social phobia, this disorder goes well beyond just being shy.

Social anxiety prevents people from taking jobs, attending parties, and ultimately developing relationships. Even those who understand their fears are not logical to find it hard to overcome their anxiety. They worry about being judged by others, and physical symptoms can range from sweating to nausea and vomiting.

Social anxiety is a phobia of being in public situations. Some can become so bad that a person can develop agoraphobia.

4. Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which people fear going to places that can make them feel trapped, helpless, or scared. Many times, the fear of having a panic attack in public can lead to agoraphobia.

Symptoms of a panic attack appear, making someone fear leaving their home for extended periods. They fear being left alone in social settings and fear not being able to escape a social situation. This can seem similar to separation anxiety, although there are differences.

5. Separation Anxiety Disorder

With this anxiety disorder, being apart from a person, place, or even a pet can cause extreme negative symptoms. It is not a disorder for children only. Many adults have a separation anxiety disorder.

Symptoms may include being excessively worried about the safety of another person when they are not with you. You may also have a heightened fear of being alone. These symptoms can hinder relationships and may even lead to codependency issues.

6. Specific Phobia

When someone has a specific phobia, they have an irrational fear of something that, in reality, does not pose a threat or danger. When they think about or encounter what they fear, intense symptoms of anxiety arise.

Specific phobias can center on virtually anything, from snakes, planes, foods, to other people. The most commonly reported particular phobias include heights and animals.

7. Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder

There is a vicious cycle involved with a substance-induced anxiety disorder. When someone feels anxious, they may turn to alcohol or drugs to calm themselves down. The problem is that both drugs and alcohol can intensify anxiety and an individual may quickly develop an addiction, which may require addiction treatment.

Because substances can induce more than anxiety, it’s essential to receive treatment for both addiction and mental health symptoms at once or choose a dual-diagnosis treatment program. A perfect example of this is a post-traumatic stress disorder.

8. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) deals with the anxiety associated with a past traumatic event. Many connect being a combat veteran with PTSD, and it is. However, many other traumas lead to this anxiety disorder.

PTSD symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, intense worry over the thing or person that caused the trauma, and anger outbursts. Further, some may experience an inability to concentrate, hallucinations, and are easily frightened.

Learn more about PTSD Treatment.

9. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Yes, as mentioned before, OCD is no longer listed under anxiety disorders and has been, instead, given its own category. It is still an anxiety disorder, however, which is why it is included in this list.

OCD is on the rise and creates many anxiety-related symptoms that become intrusive in a person’s life. With OCD, a person has overwhelming thoughts that lead to uncontrollable actions. Obsessive thoughts make a person feel that something terrible will happen if they don’t follow through with their compulsive behaviors.

Those with OCD may exhibit repetitive behaviors, like washing their hands, tapping, turning things on and off, until they feel comfortable enough to move on. Without treatment, OCD does not go away on its own.

All the above anxiety disorders require mental health professionals who are equipped to help you overcome your symptoms.

Getting Help

Anxiety disorders are treated by licensed mental health professionals who evaluate and plan treatment based on an individual’s needs. In some cases, treatment may include both medication and individual therapy.

If you are struggling with anxiety, reach out to the Mental Health Center online or by phone to schedule an appointment.