Anxiety is the body’s normal reaction to stress and sometimes it can be helpful by alerting us to dangerous situations. However, anxiety disorder is different from normal feelings of anxiousness. This blog describes the typical symptoms and common types of anxiety disorder so you know what signs to look out for if you think you, or a loved one, might be affected.
What is anxiety disorder?
Are you struggling with extreme anxiety? If so, you are not alone. According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives.”
We all experience feelings of anxiety sometimes. It is perfectly normal to be anxious in certain situations – for example before a job interview, exam or presentation at work. However, you may have an anxiety disorder if you have extreme fear or anxiety. The American Psychiatric Association states that “for a person to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the fear or anxiety must:
- Be out of proportion to the situation or age inappropriate
- Hinder ability to function normally.”
When you experience excessive feelings of fear and anxiousness, things may feel like they will never change. But you don’t have to live with anxiety disorder. It is treatable and people can and do recover completely. At Kindbridge, our highly-trained therapists use the latest evidence-based practices to deliver the most effective treatment for anxiety disorder and any co-occurring mental health problems, like depression.
What are the symptoms of anxiety disorder?
Anxiety disorder affects people differently. You, or a loved one, might recognize some of the common psychological and physical symptoms below, or your anxiety disorder may present itself in different ways. If these symptoms become overwhelming and prevent you from leading a normal, active life, it is time to seek professional help.
Psychological symptoms of anxiety disorder
- Feeling constantly on edge
- Unable to relax
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sense of dread
- Worrying that bad things will happen if you stop worrying
- Feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
- Wanting to escape the situation you are in
Physical signs of anxiety disorder
- Stomach ache and nausea
- Dizziness and fainting
- Excessive sweating
- Shaking or trembling
- Insomnia or other sleep issues
- Dry mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle ache and tension
- Lack of energy
Causes of anxiety disorder
The causes of anxiety disorder are currently unknown but the American Psychiatric Association believes they “involve a combination of factors including genetic, environmental, psychological and developmental.” Anxiety disorders can be hereditary, which suggests that a combination of genes and environmental issues may increase the likelihood of a person being affected at some point in their life.
Types of anxiety disorder
Excessive anxiety can manifest itself in different ways. **The six most common types of anxiety disorders are listed below:
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
With generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), sufferers are anxious most days, for six months or more. They worry about many different things which can significantly impact their daily life. This can be quite a broad diagnosis with people having different symptoms and experiences.
Social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) is an overwhelming fear of social situations and interacting with others. It is more than shyness and affects everyday activities, relationships, self confidence and work or school life.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (often referred to as PTSD) is a reaction to a stressful, frightening or distressing event. It may involve flashbacks or nightmares which can feel like re-living all the fear and anxiety experienced at the time of the traumatic incident.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), is a common mental health condition where a person has repetitive thoughts, behaviors or urges they cannot control. OCD can significantly interfere with their daily activities and social interactions.
A person with panic disorder has frequent or sudden panic attacks, often for no apparent reason. They can feel constantly anxious about having another panic attack, to the point that this fear can trigger another attack.
A phobia is an overwhelming and debilitating fear triggered by a particular object, place, animal, situation or feeling. As well as restricting a person’s everyday life, the phobia can also cause a lot of anxiety and distress.
Get help for anxiety disorder
If anxiety disorder is negatively affecting your life and making you avoid situations that trigger or worsen your symptoms, it is time to get professional help.
We understand that starting therapy may seem daunting. However, our expert counselors are ready to support you straight away. We can remotely diagnose anxiety disorder and provide high-quality online counseling that is accessible from anywhere.
Don’t wait until you are at crisis point to reach out. The earlier we start treating you, the better the outcome. Get started today by booking a free 30-minute consultation.