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6 Types of Anxiety Disorders and The Signs You Should Pay attention to.

Updated: Jan 17

Anxiety - a visual representation

1.General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

General Anxiety Disorder is a type of disorder that deals with excessive worry about a

variety of situations that occurs on a daily basis. This usually lasts 6 months or longer.

People who suffer from GAD usually exhibit traits such as excessive worry that is not

proportionate to the problem at hand.

Some of the signs that can be associated with General Anxiety Disorder are:

• Restlessness

• Muscle tension

• Fatigue

• Dizziness

• Shortness of Breath

• Mood Changes

• Excessive Fear

2. Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder is the fear of social environments and situations. This disorder makes it

difficult for people socialize with others because they are afraid of being judged, criticized or

being viewed in a negative light by others. A lot people who suffer from this disorder are afraid

to make mistakes, say the wrong thing, or do something that may embarrasses them or

humiliates them which is why they avoid many social situations. Social anxiety cripples an

individual’s ability to form social relationships by limiting any potential social interactions with


3. Phobias

Phobias are normal, but they are treated as disorders when they severely affect the person’s

ability to live a normal life. Phobias are characterized by an extreme or irrational fear of objects

or situations. Even though phobias are normal, they escalate to anxiety disorders when it affects

daily life. Some common examples of phobias are: a fear of spiders, heights, vomiting etc.

4. Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder, where someone can experience an overwhelming

amount of anxiety about not being able to escape or avoid situations.

Some common triggers of Agoraphobia are:

- Being in an open space

- Being surrounded in a crowded space

- Travelling in vehicles

- Panic Attacks

Agoraphobia is also usually associated with panic attacks. When someone is triggered it could

lead to a panic attacks. A Panic Attack is characterized as a sudden feeling of panic along with

the feeling of heart racing, uncontrollable shaking, blurred vision, dizziness, and sweating. Some

people even report feeling like they are having a heart attack.

5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a disorder in which people engage in compulsive behaviour or

have obsessive thoughts, feelings and sensations. Compulsive behaviour is defined as the need

to perform tasks repetitively or habitually to relieve anxiety. Some examples of OCD types of

behaviours include but not limited to: organizing, cleaning around the house, or washing hands

(Adwas, Azab & Jbrieal, 2019). The reason people engage in these types of behaviours is to

lessen the anxiety.

6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as PTSD) is a mental health condition that is

characterized by extreme anxiety which is triggered by a trauma, life threatening situation,

abuse, and or other traumatic experiences.

People who suffer from PTSD usually have episodes where they relive their traumatic experiences in their head which is also known as flashbacks.

The most common signs that someone is suffering from PTSD:

- Dreams of being in the traumatic situation

- Flashbacks while awake.

- Irritability

PTSD makes it very difficult for people to get through everyday life. More cases of PTSD

are chronic in nature and would require professional help.

With the different classifications of anxiety, it shows that anxiety is not a separate

condition that is easily identifiable. As mentioned, there are many triggers to these

disorders that will affect their lives. The main thing is learning how to manage and cope

with the anxiety so that it does not negatively impact your life.


Adwas, Almokhtar & Jbireal, J. & Azab, Azab. (2019). Anxiety: Insights into Signs, Symptoms,

EEology, Pathophysiology, and Treatment. The South African journal of medical sciences. 2. 80-


Health Canada. (n.d.). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from

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