The word ‘anxiety’ covers a broad range of conditions, ranging from a casual reference to a mood surrounding an unpleasant, anticipated event (“I feel anxious about that peer review session”), all the way to a clear sign of a debilitating disorder (“I can’t get on that plane”). Within that spectrum, psychiatrists have identified some major types of anxiety disorder that manifest in very different ways but can be equally devastating to your personal and professional life if left untreated. We’re sharing some of the most common types of anxiety disorder to help you recognize what your own symptoms might correspond to so you can get the help you deserve at our mental health treatment center and our generalized anxiety disorder treatment program.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) manifests as a state of constant worry and fear, not unlike a cloud that won’t stop hovering over your head. You can’t see your way out of it. GAD injects a persistent, unrelenting sense of impending doom that affects how you approach upcoming situations and interactions. Chronic worrying, not always with a clear reason, only enhances the persistence of symptoms, which can include insomnia, upset stomach, restlessness, and fatigue.
Many people have trouble distinguishing between a panic attack and an anxiety attack. Panic emerges from a state of anxiety that’s been triggered into an acute event that can feel critically dangerous. People suffering from panic attacks may even rush to the ER in fear that they are dying because of a number of physical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, palpitations, tingling or numbness, hyperventilation, nausea, and lightheadedness. When attacks are repeated and severe, they may cross into a disorder that alters behavior to avoid triggers, such as crowds or an airplane (anywhere difficult to escape from) out of fear of experiencing another attack.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
One of the types of anxiety disorder most commonly associated with war veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone who has suffered a life-threatening or traumatic event. It’s characterized as a sudden, relentless panic attack that sends someone into fight-or-flight mode. PTSD regularly predisposes sufferers to hypervigilance. They may be easily startled by loud noises or touch, have poor concentration, and may withdraw from others. They will also avoid situations that remind them of the inciting event.
Popular culture has practically turned obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) into a catchall for someone with ritualized tendencies. Images of someone locking the door three times before leaving home or avoiding cracks on a sidewalk have been appropriated comedically in film and television, but OCD should be taken very seriously. OCD stands out from other types of anxiety disorder for its repetitious nature, but underlying the repetition of actions is a pattern of thought that can be extremely damaging. Intrusive thoughts and unwanted behaviors that seem uncontrollable, along with obsessions surrounding fear or worry and undesirable compulsions like chronic hand-washing or counting as a coping mechanism can seriously disrupt daily life.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) stands out from other types of anxiety disorder for instilling a debilitating fear of being seen negatively by one’s peers or humiliated in public. This crippling anxiety may lead to excessive shyness and, in extreme situations, avoidance of social situations altogether. It may also create problems with delivering presentations or performing creatively. People suffering from SAD may become reclusive and isolated, an extremely detrimental pattern for mental and physical wellbeing.
At True Life Center’s mental health intensive outpatient program (IOP) and partial hospitalization program (PHP), we treat all of the above conditions with our unique Neurobiological Integration (NBI) program, an integrated and collaborative approach that aims to identify the root cause of illness and gets results by using the synergistic combination of:
- Individual psychotherapy with DBT, CBT and/or psychodynamic approach
- Specialized psychiatric treatment
- Mindfulness and Self-compassion practices
- Yoga Therapy
- Body Healing with Chi Gong
Find the Help You Deserve
Our team of compassionate partners in care and healing at True Life Center has helped countless people to navigate their particular types of anxiety disorder and emerge with a set of tools and practices to build calm and wellbeing into their daily lives, rewiring their brains and rewriting their own stories. If you or someone you love may be struggling to deal with any of the types of anxiety disorder described above, don’t hesitate to reach out to True Life Center at 866.420.1792 and seek the help you deserve.