Types of Anxiety Disorders
The following are the most common types of anxiety disorders.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder and affects over five percent of the population, with females twice as likely to be affected as males. GAD can cause excessive worrying about anything associated with daily life. This can make it difficult just to get through the day and accomplish the normal activities of daily living. Somatic complaints such as headaches or stomach aches often accompany GAD.
Social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder exceeds the normal definition of shyness. It causes extreme stress and worry about being in social situations and being embarrassed in front of other people. It can cause a person to avoid social situations and often leads to isolation and depression.
Panic disorders are characterized by panic attacks: episodes of extreme fear and impending doom that are not rational. They can happen with little or no warning and are distressing because they cause physical symptoms similar to a heart attack: chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.
Phobias are the intense, debilitating fear of certain objects, animals, or situations, such as enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), or public settings (agoraphobia). These fears are exaggerated to the point that they interfere with the individual’s daily functioning. In agoraphobia, the person fears situations that could cause a panic attack, extreme embarrassment, or a feeling of being trapped or helpless with no way to escape. It often leads to isolation, because a person with agoraphobia will often avoid public places and anywhere with crowds.