25 Feb 2016
Types of Anxiety
In medicine, one of the solutions to effectively treating disorders and diseases is having the right information on a particular condition.
This is because the right information, which is usually a result of various tests, can guide the physician and patient on the mode of treatment.
This is very true for most, if not all diseases, including anxiety disorders, because being able to acquire the right information on a specific type of anxiety disorder increases the chances of effective treatment.
One of the ways to get this information is to have knowledge of the types of anxiety disorders.
Anxiety is excessive worry or exaggerated reaction to a triggering event.
It is only considered as a mental health problem if it is prolonged, severe and if it interferes with your daily activities.
In children, anxiety disorders range from a simple adjustment disorder to more challenging and debilitating disorders such as panic attacks and post-traumatic stress.
It is normal to feel anxious when facing something difficult or dangerous while mild anxiety could be a useful and positive experience.
Excessive anxiety is often associated with other mental health problems, such as depression.
Unfortunately, most people who suffer anxiety do not seek for treatment because they do not believe that it is an illness, or they fear the reaction of family and friends.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are different types of anxiety disorders and depending on your personal fear; you can begin to fight them appropriately.
These disorders include:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
This type is very common and is caused by generally high levels of stress, tension, and worry.
It comes about from everyday living and is caused by things such as a bad relationship, a highly stressful job, and the shortage of finances among others.
The reason it is so common is because many people today live life with these kinds of tensions, but they do not seem to realize that the resulting anxiety can become much more severe.
Its signs are feelings of illness, but not quite.
You will have headaches, stomachaches, poor concentration, heart palpitations and many more, but they are never too serious to send you to a physician.
You will know that something is wrong when you are not able to function normally.
This disorder is less common than generalized anxiety disorder, and its manifestation is much more intense.
It comes suddenly and without warning, and one will feel unable to breathe, you will sweat, your heart will beat fast, and you will tremble among other symptoms.
Sufferers report feeling confused and a sense of doom.
The reason these reactions happen has not been found.
Some people suffer panic attacks often while others suffer single episodes in life that never repeat.
Panic disorder can lead one to develop agoraphobia because it causes panic attacks.
It is the fear of open places, people may avoid going outside, and they may avoid crowds, bridges, like in generalized anxiety people think that bad things may happen in those locations.
It is also known as social phobia.
It is the third most common mental health condition treated by psychologists, next to depression and substance abuse.
While it is common for people to be conscious of the impression they make on other people, those that struggle with social anxiety develop a paralyzing fear being around other people whether it is in a social gathering or crowded places like a school or mall.
People struggling with social anxiety have intense fear that they will embarrass themselves in front of other people as well as a fear of rejection.
Social anxiety is classified as a condition as it is commonly seen in children and adolescence.
Some common symptoms you may experience concerning social anxiety are fidgeting, trembling, nervousness, heart pounding, dizziness, sweating and problem concentrating.
Glossophobia (Public speaking anxiety) can be related to social phobia.
when one suffers this condition, they become obsessive and have compulsions that they cannot seem to control.
These obsessions are rather different from other passions, say hobbies that other people would have.
One can have an overwhelming fear of germs so that they are regularly cleaning and afraid of coming into contact with contaminated items.
The compulsions are also uncontrollable, for instance, someone may develop a certain way of getting into their house so that they only step on certain tiles on the floor.
The cause of this disorder has not been established yet, but medication and behavioral therapy seem to help.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
This one can be rather serious because sometimes victims can harm themselves in an attempt to get out of their pain.
People who have been through an intensely traumatic event; like rape, war, shooting, a bombing and anything else that can leave someone deeply scarred, usually experience it.
They have flashbacks of the event, and they keep seeing it as it happens.
In most cases, they suffer insomnia because when they try to sleep, they relive the happening.
They tend to become emotionally withdrawn and sometimes have a profound sense of self-loathing because they think that they are to blame for what happened.
They will usually be irritable and can react physically when reminded of the trauma.
This is a type of childhood anxiety disorder that is observed in approximately 2.4% of the population.
If left untreated, effects and symptoms of this condition progress into adulthood.
Separation anxiety entails a debilitating fear of a child to be separated from a safety net.
This may be in the form of a trusted person like a nanny or an object like a security blanket.
Children that suffer from this are not only able to do normal activities often seen among children.
Over time, this can result in the child being unable to cope well with life occurrences and the ability to develop and foster healthy relationships with their peers, which can have a direct effect on them later in life.
This type of anxiety is related to mortality and spirituality.
Sigmund Freud called this kind of anxiety as the “trauma of nonbeing.”
When a person realizes that they are not immortal and will die someday, this loads them with enormous worry.
Freud believed that religion then becomes a coping mechanism so that the victim’s unwholesome fear of death will be minimized.
This form of anxiety can be somewhat non-harmful and may even motivate ingenuity, but it can also be hazardous if a person starts to have strong suicidal urges because of feelings of hopelessness.
This type is obvious and is brought on by extreme idleness and boredom.
The person becomes very bored of their present living status and develops into anxiety for no apparent reason at all.
The solution to this type of anxiety is to help the suffer find out the meaning and happiness in life, be it a hobby or love.
Test and Math Anxiety
There have been cases reported that tests and math are sources of anxiety.
This is so because all students are expected and supposed to be able to succeed in academic study.
They are trained, at a very early age, to think that academic achievements go hand in hand with self-worth and that low grades are an embarrassment.
This type of anxiety is usually accompanied by physical symptoms like nausea, headaches and dizziness, and can hinder the performance of a student.
Therefore, it is important to make the students today realize that having a low grade is not an equation to the end of social importance and peer acceptance.
Treatment depends on the types of anxiety you are experiencing and how severe it is.
Cognitive-behavior therapy is very effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Tranquilizers, like benzodiazepine tablets, help to relieve some short-term stress-related anxieties.
However, they should not be taken for long periods because of the risk of addiction.
For this reason, they are not usually prescribed.
Antidepressants can treat anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive anxiety, and other anxiety associated with depression.