Anxiety disorders are common mental health problems. People who suffer from these conditions may experience a wide range of symptoms, including excessive worry and irrational fears. Anxiety can be divided into several distinct categories. In fact, there are five different types of anxiety that can be identified. This leaves many people to wonder, “what kind of anxiety do I have?”
How Do You Know if You Have Anxiety?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder are all forms of anxiety disorders. They share some common symptoms, but each has its own unique set of indicators. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be helpful to talk to your doctor about whether you might have one of these disorders.
The 5 Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are five different types of anxiety disorders. Knowing about each one will help you better understand your particular situation. The types include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder – This type of disorder is characterized by a feeling of extreme worry that lasts for at least six months. It’s not normal to constantly worry about everything. If this happens on a regular basis, it could signal a problem.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. An obsession is a persistent idea or image that causes distress. A compulsion is a behavior or mental act that is repeated without thinking. For example, a person with OCD may obsess over germs and cleanliness, while performing compulsive rituals like washing hands repeatedly.
- Panic Disorder – Panic attacks happen when you feel intense fear and dread. Sometimes, you’re afraid you’ll lose control and hurt yourself. Other times, you’re afraid something bad is going to happen to you or someone else. In between the two extremes, you may feel numbness, sweating, shaking, trembling, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, stomach cramps, heart palpitations, chills, hot flashes, or blurred vision.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – PTSD is caused by a traumatic event that makes you feel helpless or out of control. It can cause flashbacks, nightmares, and memories of trauma. Symptoms include trouble sleeping, irritability, anger, or difficulty concentrating.
- Social Phobia – Also known as social anxiety disorder, social phobias make you anxious in social situations. You may avoid certain places or activities because you don’t want to face rejection or humiliation.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is normal to have questions about anxiety. The following answers the most frequently asked questions regarding this condition.
Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain?
People who suffer from this disorder tend to experience chest pain more frequently than those without. This may be due to increased heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to chest pain. In addition, people with these conditions tend to breathe shallowly, which can increase the risk of developing chest pain.
How Can I Calm a Panic Attack?
A panic attack is one of the most terrifying experiences someone can endure. It can feel like your heart is going to explode, your lungs will collapse, and you might pass out. The best way to calm down during an anxiety attack is to take deep breaths and focus on relaxing thoughts.
Can Anxiety Make You Believe Things That Aren’t True?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most common mental health problems. It affects around 1.2% of people at some point in their lives. The symptoms are distressing and impair daily life. People who suffer from this condition may experience obsessions and compulsions which they feel unable to control. They may believe that their fears are real and try to avoid situations where they think they might act out their obsession. This belief causes distress and prevents them from carrying out everyday activities.
Can Anxiety Cause Nausea?
If you suffer from anxiety, you may experience nausea. This is because the body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which cause us to feel sick. The same thing happens when a person is anxious about something – our bodies release stress hormones that make us feel nauseous.
Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure?
This is accurate, anxiousness has been shown to cause high blood pressure in some people. The exact mechanism behind this relationship isn’t fully understood, but one theory suggests that stress hormones released during periods of stress may increase blood pressure.
Can Anxiety Cause Dizziness?
Dizziness can be caused by this disorder. If you feel anxious, you may experience lightheadedness, fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and heart palpitations.
Is Anxiety Genetic?
It appears that some people are genetically predisposed to having anxiety, whereas others may develop the condition due to environmental factors.
Can Anxiety Cause Headaches?
It’s true that anxiety causes headaches in some people. The most common type of headache associated with this condition is known as “tension-type headache,” which is caused by muscle contractions in the neck and shoulders. Other types include migraine headaches, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches.
Can Anxiety Affect the Brain?
It’s been said that this condition can have an effect on the brain, specifically in the areas of memory and thinking. In one study, it was found that people with high levels of anxiety tended to have smaller hippocampal volumes – which are known to play a role in memory formation and recall. Studies also suggest that this condition may lead to changes in brain activity, including increased activity in the regions responsible for fear responses.
Can Anxiety Kill You?
This disorder can lead to fatal complications. It may not be immediately apparent, but if left untreated, it can result in heart disease, stroke, and possibly even suicide.
How to Properly Treat Anxiety
The most effective treatments for this condition include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medications, and holistic treatment methods. CBT teaches people how to identify and change negative behaviors. Holistic treatments aim to treat every facet of a person, through methods such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness techniques. Overall, each treatment intervention has its own benefits and should be tailored to the individualized needs of the patient.
Mental Health Treatment in South Florida
Anxiety is a very real condition. In fact, it affects over 40 million American adults each year. Unfortunately, many people do not seek treatment until their condition has become severe. Thankfully, Neuroscience Institute in South Florida offers effective anxiety treatment to get individuals the help they deserve no matter the severity of their disorder. To learn more about our treatment options, visit our admissions page or call us today.