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Understanding Anxiety: Types of Anxiety Disorders

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Hi there! Welcome to our blog. In this blog post we will talk about anxiety and a few types of anxiety disorders.


Anxiety is a common experience and will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Occasional anxiety is normal and even adaptive/positive as it can help us to respond to potential threats we may encounter. For example, if we were driving close to the edge of a cliff and did not experience any anxiety as we are getting closer we may not be as careful. However, when anxiety becomes chronic or excessive and begins to interfere with our day-to-day life, it becomes a problem.


Anxiety Disorders

Here are some statistics from a UK study done in 2014 (1). The study investigated how many people, in any given week in England, would be given certain diagnoses:


8 out of 100 people diagnosed with depression and anxiety combined.

6 out of 100 people diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

4 out of 100 people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

2 out of 100 people diagnosed with phobias.

1 in 100 people diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

1 in 100 people diagnosed with panic disorder.


Lets now briefly talk about what some of these are.


Generalised Anxiety Disorder:

A key feature of this is excessive and persistent worry about a range of different things. e.g. this may include worries about work, finances, relationships etc. Symptoms may include racing thoughts, restlessness, difficulty relaxing, and physical symptoms including muscle tension and insomnia.


Panic Disorder:

A key feature of this is experiencing regular panic attacks and fear of having another panic attack. Symptoms may include a racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness/light-headedness, chest tightness, nausea etc.


Social Anxiety Disorder:

A key feature of this involves concerns about being judged by others and anxiety in social situations (anything involving other people). Symptoms may include self-consciousness, avoidance, and physical symptoms such as shaking or sweating in social situations.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:

A key feature of this involves the occurrence of intrusive thoughts, images, urges, doubts (obsessions), which are followed by repetitive actions or routines (compulsions).


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This is an anxiety disorder that can occur after one experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. Some symptoms may include disturbing memories, nightmares, avoidance, and feeling on edge.


if you would like to read about the different types of anxiety disorders in more detail the 'Mind' website is great. Click here to go through.


Conclusion:

There are a range of different anxiety disorders. Some people can have symptoms of multiple different types. The key thing to remember is that help is available.

If you would like CBT therapy for anxiety, feel free to get in touch.



Reference:

  1. McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016). Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult psychiatric morbidity survey 2014.

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