Since the word “anxiety” is used to describe everything from a minor worry to a full-blown panic attack in casual conversation, it’s not always easy for those suffering from true anxiety disorders to identify the root cause of troublesome thoughts or behaviors. The truth is that “anxiety” is also used as an umbrella term, and most people don’t realize there are a variety of anxiety disorders with different symptoms and triggers. If you’re concerned you may be suffering from a type of anxiety, learning more about the five major types may help you decide how and where to seek treatment.
- Panic Disorder –While many people will experience one panic attack over the course of their lifetime, some people will experience recurring attacks which can significantly interfere with their daily lives. Panic disorder causes brief but intense attacks which can include chest pain, nausea, sweating, difficulty breathing, tremors and even heart palpitations.
- Social Anxiety Disorder –There are times in everyone’s life when social situations are uncomfortable. For most people, this discomfort is caused by recognizable factors, like high-stakes job interviews or an awkward situation at a party. For people living with social anxiety, however, feelings of heightened self-consciousness are pervasive, as are fears of being judged and found wanting. This stress can manifest physically via nausea, tremors and blushing. The disorder can interfere with your ability to develop and maintain relationships in many areas of your life without treatment.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder –Though it’s often associated with military veterans, PTSD can strike after a traumatic, highly stressful or near-death event. While not everyone who experiences these events will develop PTSD, it’s certainly not restricted to those in the military or other high-stress occupations.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder –At some point, almost everyone will experience serious anxiety. The difference between this normal experience and generalized anxiety disorder is that the latter will eventually interfere with someone’s ability to function in daily life. This irrational and severe worry surrounding specific triggers is treatable, though.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder –Unlike the other major anxiety disorders, which typically cause those living with them to actively avoid triggers, OCD compels people to repeat certain behaviors as a calming mechanism. People living with OCD will feel intensely anxious when they’re not able to engage in these behaviors, which may be driven by intense concern about anything from germs to violent, unwanted mental images.
Anxiety disorders can be debilitating, but they can also be treated. At North Star Medical, we’ll work to find a solution which allows you to continue your daily life by minimizing the symptoms of your condition.
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as an advice for any individual case or situation.