Five Types of Anxiety Disorders

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Anxiety disorders are when the natural reactions to stress become excessive and disabling.  Anxiety is a natural way to cope with stress, but with an anxiety disorder a person is no longer coping, but rather having difficulties controlling their anxiety.  Anxiety disorders usually fall into one of five different categories.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is a form of anxiety disorder where a person always feels anxious, worried or tense.  Usually there is nothing to provoke such feelings and a person suffers from GAD the majority of the time.  It becomes impossible for a person to relax and shake the feelings of anxiety, tension or worry.

GAD can cause issues with fatigue, headaches, muscle tension and aches, problems swallowing, trembling or shaking, mood changes and hot flashes.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is an anxiety disorder that causes a person to have unwanted thoughts that are reoccurring or repetitive behaviors.  A person can suffer from both the reoccurring thoughts and behaviors or just suffer from one or the other.  A person has no or little control over these thoughts or actions.  Usually the repetitive thoughts lead to the actions which are an attempt to stop the thoughts.

OCD can also cause phobias about germs or dirt, causing repetitive hand washing.  It is common for a person with OCD to worry about something continuously and have to check and recheck a situation to ensure it is okay.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder which causes a person to have intense fear.  These episodes may also include physical symptoms like chest pains or difficulty breathing.  These episodes strike suddenly and usually have no warning.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a form of anxiety that is brought on by a tragic event in which there was great trauma for the person.  A person with PTSD feels constantly afraid.  They are plagued with memories of the event and often distance themselves from others, losing emotional feelings.

Social Phobia

Social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, is an anxiety disorder that causes excessive anxiety and self-consciousness in a person when in social situations.  A person can suffer from social phobia in certain situations or in every social situation they encounter.

Social phobia causes a persistent fear that others are watching and judging them.  A person will feel like they are unable to control their fear and it may interfere with social interactions.  It is often accompanied by physical symptoms like blushing, trembling, nausea and troubles speaking.

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