Six Major Kinds of Anxiety Disorders

There are mainly six known types of anxiety disorders, with different symptoms corresponding to each type. These are the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Phobia.

A Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) occurs after a person encountering a traumatizing or life-threatening incident. Symptoms of this disorder include random recollections, nightmares and flashbacks of the event, unnecessary watchfulness, agitation, solitude and evasion of circumstances related to the trauma.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involves undesirable obsessions that are difficult to regulate. For example, a person's hobby is collecting toys and he loves toys so much that he will do anything to get them. Excessive compulsions, such as the inclination of cleaning eyeglasses or fixing ties over and over, are also a characteristic of OCD.

A Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is evident in a person if repeated concerns and fears inhibit him or her from accomplishing daily tasks, or if the person always feels that something bad will happen somehow. Being a chronic worrywart demonstrates GAD, and such people always feel anxious for no apparent reason. Physical symptoms here involve difficulty sleeping, upset stomachs, impatience and the constant feeling of exhaustion.

A Panic Disorder is illustrated by persistent, unpredictable panic attacks coupled with the fear of when the next instance of a panic attack will occur. This usually goes together with agoraphobia, or the fear of being in venues where flight or assistance would be impossible during a panic attack. As such, a person with agoraphobia stays away from places packed with people, or cramped spaces.

Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by the fear of humiliation or negativity in public. This can be referred to as excessive bashfulness, and in more extreme cases, a person may withdraw from people entirely. Stage fright is a common example of this disorder.

A Phobia is an exaggerated fear of anything that may or may not pose any threat or danger. If a phobia is intense, a person may opt to use extreme measures in avoiding the object of the phobia. Regrettably, avoiding a phobia only reinforces one's fear of it. Common phobias include fear of certain animals, heights, flying or darkness.