5 Major Anxiety Disorders – A Quick Overview
Anxiety disorders can be confusing to some people. How do you tell one from another? You might be wondering which is which, since there are several different types of anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder is just one form of anxiety. Others include obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and numerous other phobias. Those are specific to a particular issue.
Let’s go over each one briefly.
Obsessive compulsive disorder
In this disorder, you tend to repeat certain actions because your mind sends you messages that you haven’t done it right or forgot to do it. Do you go back and check and recheck the doors to be sure they are locked? Do you repeatedly wash your hands, possibly making them raw from all the scrubbing? These are cases of obsessive compulsive disorder in action.
Social anxiety disorder, also called Social Phobia
If you are reluctant to go out and mingle, cross the street when you approach another pedestrian, and avoid public places, then you are suffering from social anxiety disorder.
In this form, you will fear the open spaces. Rather than venture outside the house, you tend to be housebound. Any thoughts of leaving to go shopping, to work, or to visit friends and relatives immediately trigger anxiety.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This one follows any event that overwhelms you, particularly those in which your life was in danger. Wars, terrorist acts, violent events, physical abuse and other horrific experiences can cause post PTSD. This anxiety disorder is perhaps the most severe because the individual can be haunted by flashbacks of the event, halucinations, nightmares, disturbances in sleep and diet, and much more.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
In this case, the anxiety cannot be directly associated with any specific event or thing. That’s what makes this disorder difficult. If you do not know what is causing it, you can experience a general feeling of uneasiness with nothing to link it to. If you were afraid to leave your house, you can work on that particular issue, for example, gradual exposure to the thing you fear.
With GAD, however, you are forced to deal directly with the anxiety itself. There are many ways to do that, which will be discussed in another post.
One site can provide you with a wealth of information on anxiety disorders. Start on this page:
This is the official mental health site that provides trustworthy information.