What is anxiety? What are the different types of anxiety disorders?

anxiety disorders

What is anxiety? 

Anxiety is a feeling or emotion of uneasiness and discomfort that is characterized by fear, palpitations, increased alertness, over sensitization, and other physical or emotional signs. It is the feeling of overwhelmingness and it is a common reaction to life events. Everyone faces anxiety at some stage of their life like while facing crowd, taking a final exam, during result announcement or presentation, etc. Anyone can face anxiety even in trivial situations. A person’s experience of enduring anxiety can differ from another person’s experience. Not everyone feels the same way in similar situations, some can identify the pattern while some are not. Anxiety can be problematic when intensified and if it is left untreated, it can turn into a disorder that can make day to day life hard to live.

What are the different causes of anxiety?  

Multiple causes can trigger anxiety in multiple different ways. It’s not something definite that you can categorize into “Things that can cause anxiety or things that cannot cause anxiety.” Not everyone living on the same planet has the same life experiences and existential crisis. The world around us behaves differently for different humans. Some common causes are seen to be the leading cause of chronic anxiety. They are 

  • The stress of work or studies
  • Financial stress 
  • Underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disorders, thyroid issues, etc.  
  • It could be genetic (if someone in your family faced chronic anxiety, there are chances that you are more prone to it)
  • Problems with self-esteem. 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder your personality can be a reason. People with over sensitive personalities are more prone to anxiety.
  • Substance abuse is also a leading cause.
  • Withdrawal of alcohol. 

But still, the complete causes of anxiety are not understood.

What are the different symptoms and complications?

Just like causes, symptoms of anxiety are also not uniform. It varies from person to person depending upon the condition of the sufferer and severity of the attack. Few commonly observed symptoms and complication are as follow. 

  • Feeling of panic and fear. 
  • Tingling and numbness in shoulders, arms, or legs.
  • Insomnia or other sleep problems.
  • Sweaty hands.
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Muscular tension. 
  • Inability to concentrate. 
  • Palpitations 
  • Difficulty in breathing. 
  • Inability to function properly throughout the day. 

Chronic anxiety and stress can also lead to suicidal thoughts.

How to tell if you have an anxiety attack? 

A person going through an anxiety attack feels discomfort and restlessness. Nervousness dwells over and one feels the sense of some impending danger. Hyperventilation, palpitations, and palm sweating are the earliest symptoms that one could feel while facing an anxiety attack. One might feel nervous about making eye contact. Anxiety also causes difficulty while concentrating and continuously switches your thoughts. While going through an anxiety attack, it is very difficult to keep one’s focus on the present situation. If the situation of anxiety sustains for a longer period, it can cause complications.   

Anxiety disorders

There are various types of disorders that are associated with anxiety that causes excessive fear or worry. Few of the main anxiety disorders are as follow:


It is a type of phobia in which a person avoids the places that cause anxiety. Oftentimes, anxiety is associated with places because of traumas associated with the similar situation. The person diagnosed with such disorder usually resists visiting such places that can bring a sense of fear and anxiety.  

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

It is a type of disorder that usually causes chronic and persistent anxiety about various situation. A person dealing with such disorder feels anxious about even general and routine situations. It is a complicated situation because the person suffering through it cannot help feeling anxious and tensed for a major part of their days. This disorder can be treated through psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and medications.

Social Anxiety disorder

Social anxiety is a sort of behavioural condition that is characterized by the feeling of discomfort, fear, and stress when being around people. Usually, a person feels anxious around other people because of the fear of being judged or fear of not being able to fulfil society’s pseudo standards. It can also be cured with the help of behavioural therapies.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a problem that affects the mental health of people of almost every age group. In OCD, the patient faces recurring unwanted thoughts that trigger anxiety. This disorder is quite common in people around the globe but its severity varies. It involves obsession and compulsions and can be cured by repeated therapies and serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Post-Traumatic Stress disorder

In PTSD, the patient usually gets the flashbacks of the traumatic incident they have gone through at some point in their life. PTSD can cause severe anxiety and restlessness because they feel psychologically vulnerable when it comes to a specific incident. It can also be cured by performing Cognitive Behavioral therapy.

Certain phobias

Phobias is an excessive reaction of fear to a specific thing or event. There are multiple types of phobias that exist, for instance, acrophobia is the fear of heights and Aerophobia is the fear of flying. Similarly, autophobia is the fear of being alone and claustrophobia, fear of confined or crowded spaces hemophobia, fear of blood.

This was an elaborative 5-minutes quick read article that gives a thorough overview of anxiety and disorders related to it. Care to comment and stay tuned on the site for more such helpful content.

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