Anxiety is a cringing emotion that can leave a person feeling vulnerable, unpleasant and unhappy. There are many types of anxiety, which means people suffer from different catalysts and symptoms. Most people think that anxiety comes from a constant fear, but that is false. Anxiety is the body’s way of overanalyzing or become defensive of certain situations. Like the fight-or-flight response, people with anxiety think the worst can happen even if their problems are normal or fixable. It is very normal to suffer from anxiety from time to time, but not all the time. For example, flying can trigger anxiety in most people who do not suffer from an anxiety disorder. Other examples of normal anxiety triggers include: upcoming nuptials, a court date, a blind date, problems at work or making an important decision. The feeling that your stomach is in knots is completely normal.
Types of Anxiety
Some of the types of anxiety disorders include:
- Panic disorder: At any given moment, panic strikes and you find yourself holding your chest. You may think that you are having a heart attack but, it is just a panic attack. During a panic attack it is very common for someone to suffer from chest pain, feel like you are choking or about to have heart attack. This type of disorder can happen out of the blue or be built up overtime. Some people will avoid going to places where they have previously experienced panic attacks.
- Social anxiety disorder: One of the second most common anxiety disorders is social anxiety. Many people have a real fear of socializing with other people because they think they will be rejected or ridiculed. This type of anxiety makes it hard for people to make friends, visit family or speak in front of others.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Obsessions and compulsions such as constantly washing your hands, “rituals”, obsessive thoughts and cleaning are often part of this type of anxiety disorder.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): When a traumatizing event occurs, such as a death of a loved one, people tend to suffer from this disorder. The most common cause of PTSD is from military members.
- Phobias: Certain phobias such as the fear of being in public or the fear of flying can terrify people. Anxiety levels may spike when a certain phobia is mentioned, or a real issue occurs.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: If a person does not fall into one of the categories listed above, then they suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. This type of anxiety disorder can disrupt a person life for weeks and even months.
Causes and Symptoms
There are different causes that can lead to anxiety disorders, regardless of the type. Some of these causes include:
- Mental illness
- Changes in the brain
Remember that temporary anxiety due to upcoming events or certain situations is completely normal.
Depending on the type of anxiety disorder a person can suffer from, there are different symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
- Knots in the stomach
- Trouble sleeping or waking up
- Constant sweating
- Inability to sit still
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Muscles tensions
- Fast heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
Panic attacks are the most common causes of emergency room visits. A patient will go into the E.R. thinking they are having a heart attack because of their “chest pain” but more often it is just heart palpations. Unfortunately, there is not lab test that can confirm an anxiety disorder. Doctors will usually ask patients questions to determine if they are mentally unstable or not.
Different types of anxiety require different treatment methods. Some of these methods include:
- Speaking with a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist
- Taking medications such as antidepressants
- Taking alprazolam or clonazepam
- Going through a behavioral therapy class
- Cutting down on caffeine
- Eat properly and exercise regularly
- Follow a simple bedtime routine
- Take deep breaths and focus on breathing right
There is no shame in have anxiety or an anxiety disorder. Most people who suffer from anxiety think that they need to be hidden from the world but that should not happen. It is best to remember that you should have control over your anxiety and not let anxiety control you.