What Is Anxiety?
Who hasn’t felt anxious at some point in their lives. That feeling of sudden nervousness, heaviness in the heart with those bits of fear here and there. Insecurity or uncertainity is common place when people experience this rather unpleasant feeling.
Some instances of anxiety are completely normal. In fact, in the appropriate quantum and situation, they can actually help you to stay more conscious of the situation and respond more sharply. Examples could be nervousness before an exam or job interview, or maybe each time you make any big decision. However, if anxiousness persists in a much expanded magnitude and is very frequent, it could hint towards an underlying mental condition called Anxiety Disorder.
What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders encompass distress that can hamper a person’s everyday living. An individual suffering from this mental condition often finds everything around to be dreadful, overwhelming and almost like an emergency. Such forms of extreme anxiety can be extremely disabling for the one suffering.
However, the good part is that it can be treated and managed. After identifying the type and cause of anxiety, mental health practitioners can guide you on the best ways to manage it, just when you feel swamped with uneasiness.
However, anxiety expresses itself in various forms and hence knowing the type of anxiety is important for prognosis and a better treatment outcome. With that, let’s move on to understand the types.
What Are The Types Of Anxiety Disorders?
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
Anxiety takes the form of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD when a person tends to worry excessively about everyday things. These causes of worry may not bother or worry most other individuals as much as they are worrying the person with GAD.
The anxious feeling is usually because of apprehensions about unforeseen events, and can even cause heart palpitations, and a stream of unwanted thoughts that the sufferer is unable to let go.
For instance, the amplified worry of a person suffering from GAD could be when walking down the road and constantly feeling anxious about the possibility of vehicle hitting or knocking them down.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a type of anxiety disorder where one is disturbed by repeated and unwanted thoughts related to their everyday living. These repetitive thoughts occur abnormally and hence called Obsessions. For instance, say the individual has left his or her house after checking everything and yet feels if he/she locked the door proper or left it unlocked or if he/she switched off the lights, etc.
Such thoughts compel the person to check and re-check these apprehensions again and again to the point that it is overwhelming and causes extreme anxiety. For instance, coming back to re-check if the door is properly locked or not, even when one has already checked that the door is locked.
All of this activity causes extreme anxiety and as a result the person indulges in repetitive behaviours called Compulsions. The person thinks that performing these compulsions will ease his/her anxiety or prevent adverse things from happening. For instance, washing one’s hands again and again out of the fear of germs; the fear of germs (obsession) causes the person anxiety and hence to ease it the person repetitively washes hands (compulsive behaviour).
- Panic Disorder:
Panic Disorder is sudden anxiety that appears in the form of panic attacks. Panic attacks are like waves of terror, that may compel the body to convulse. The person suffering from it might experience difficulty in breathing or even feel like he or she is almost dying.
These attacks don’t last for longer than half an hour but they leave the victim completely drained out, mentally fatigued and thoroughly depressed. It’s normal if a panic attack happens with a person once or twice in their life but if it is recurrent in frequency, it calls for an urgent professional intervention.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by certain impactful negative events or situations that one may have experienced and may have left the person in a state of shock. Sometimes these events get so deeply ingrained in the brain, that the sufferer tends to relive it in the form of daydreams and nightmares. If this happens, the victim feels a combination of anxiety, anger and depression very often and is unable to live peacefully and happily in the normal course of life. Childhood abuse or the events experienced in a dysfunctional family are among the common examples of events that may cause this particular type of anxiety disorder.
- Social Anxiety Disorder:
Social Anxiety Disorder, also referred to as social phobia, is a type of anxiety disorder that causes the person a fear of being in a social situation to the point that the person may avoid leaving his or her house due to an extreme fear of socializing and being judged.
The primary concern that a person suffering from social phobia faces is ‘What are others thinking about me?’. With the assumption that they will be perceived negatively, people with social anxiety tend to snub and refrain from all kinds of social interaction.
If it is less severe, it can make it difficult for the person to develop friendship or form acquaintances easily. However, if it increases in severity, it can prevent the person from stepping out of the house altogether, even for the most mundane life activities such as grocery shopping. Thus, totally avoiding social situations and interactions.
If you think that you may be Most people find a lot of relief with the coping tips and techniques they gain from professional counselling sessions from Mental Health Experts. Just take the first step and talk to a psychologist/counsellor near you or online, for these conditions can be managed efficiently provided you seek help.