An anxiety disorder is a common mental illness defined by extreme feelings of fear, worry, and uneasiness. Although each person feels anxiety at times, an individual suffering from an anxiety disorder feels significantly more anxious than what’s often considered reasonable. For instance, a normal person might feel a bit anxious about going to visit the dentist, but an individual who suffers from an anxiety disorder might feel extremely anxious every time he or she goes out.
Unfortunately, a majority of people suffering from anxiety disorders don’t realize that they have a treatable, defined disorder. This means that anxiety disorders are usually under-diagnosed.
The Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
According to the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, anxiety disorders include the following:
- GAD or Generalised Anxiety Disorder
- OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- PSTD or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Simple Phobia or Specific Phobia
- Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia
- Acute Stress Disorder
- Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety features
- Anxiety from a general medical condition
- Substance-induced Anxiety Disorder
Note that social anxiety is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders, says Intermountain LDS and behavioural specialists in Utah, and it often manifests before turning 20 years old. They add that simple or specific phobias, like fear of heights, are likewise immensely common — such that 1 in 10 individuals will experience a simple phobia at some point in their life.
Other Crucial Things to Know About Anxiety
Some people are more sensitive to anxiety disorders, and it’s not due to one thing, but because of a combination of different factors such as genetics, traumatic experiences, and family environment. Those who suffer from anxiety disorders might have self-destructive thinking patterns like extreme perfectionism.
It’s also critical to note that some individuals have co-occurring mental issues, like depression. This could increase potentially life-threatening risks, such as self-harm and suicide. Nonetheless, those afflicted with anxiety disorders could learn how to manage their anxiety better with proper treatment.
One thing to keep in mind is that anxiety is a normal emotion. You will be considered abnormal if you have never experienced fear ever. If your feelings of anxiety are way out of proportion or are significantly inappropriate to the particular situation you’re faced with and/or lingers even if the cause of your anxiety has passed, seek professional help soon or risk having your anxiety disorder take over your life.