Anxiety can feel a lot like having a devil on your shoulder, watching and critiquing your every move, day in and day out. Every decision you make is judged, every thought you have is second guessed. There’s no respite for the nervousness, panic and shame you feel.
For the estimated 40 million adults in the United States with an anxiety disorder, this is but a small window into the crippling effects of anxiety. What makes this condition even more difficult to manage is the fact that not all anxiety disorders are created equal. Knowing what anxiety disorder you’re personally struggling with can help you find the most effective treatment possible.
The 5 Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. But what happens when you feel anxious constantly? Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is much more than that temporary feeling of panic. GAD manifests as persistent worry over a variety of events or things in your life.
For example, let’s say you realize you may have forgotten to lock your front door before heading to work. If you are suffering from GAD, this relatively minor concern is blown out of proportion. Before you know it, worrying about an unlocked door escalates into thinking that someone will break into your home, steal your belongings or even burn your house down.
People diagnosed with GAD typically struggle with unexpected circumstances and life events. This worry and panic can disrupt your day-to-day activities and lower your quality of life.
Panic disorder is described as seemingly random panic attacks caused by anxiety. These panic attacks can happen without warning and are much more likely to develop in early adulthood. Individuals who struggle with panic disorder tend to experience symptoms like shortness of breath and feeling overwhelming amounts of worry on a regular basis.
Another difficult aspect of panic disorder is that it can interfere with daily life. Panic attacks often leave people unable to do anything else until the anxiety has subsided. This can negatively impact work, personal relationships and daily activities. What many people with anxiety disorder don’t realize, though, is the condition is highly treatable with the right care and support.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as uncontrollable reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) or behaviors (compulsions) that occur repeatedly:
- Obsessions caused by OCD are typically unshakable thoughts. For example, someone with OCD may fear germs or the sight of blood. Over time, these fears become steady sources of anxiety.
- Compulsions are behaviors people with OCD feel like they have to do over and over again. For example, an individual struggling with OCD may not be able to leave their home until they’ve checked that the stove is off half a dozen times. These behaviors aren’t meant to bring people joy; instead, these rituals are developed to relieve the anxiety they’re experiencing.
This anxiety disorder has varying degrees of severity and can easily interfere with everyday life.
Social Anxiety Disorder
The core of social anxiety disorder is the fear of being negatively judged or rejected in any social situation. If someone with this disorder finds themselves in a social situation, the anxiety can cause nausea, rapid heart rate, panic attacks and other unsettling symptoms.
Social anxiety can have a ripple effect across daily life, if not treated properly. For example, someone might turn down a big promotion at work out of fear that they will have to interact with more people.
Due to its effects, people with social anxiety disorder tend to isolate themselves from loved ones and other social circles. This isolation and loneliness can lead to depression, another mental health disorder that would need to be treated alongside the anxiety
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is caused by a traumatic event or experience. Symptoms typically include flashbacks or memories of the event. These “callbacks” cause intense anxiety, depression and stress that can stick with the individual for months or even years afterwards.
People with PTSD also tend to have trouble maintaining or building new relationships. The trauma they’ve experienced prevents them from meeting new people and enjoying new experiences, out of fear that a specific trigger will remind them of the pain they went through or witnessed. Fortunately, mental health treatment can help individuals with PTSD address their trauma and establish a way to move forward.
Discover Expert Anxiety Treatment at Fountain Hills Recovery
At Fountain Hills Recovery, we know anxiety disorders can cast a shadow over you and prevent you from living the life you want. We can help you recover from your anxiety disorder, no matter which one you’re struggling with.
We take the time to get to know you on a personal level before starting treatment. That way, we can get a better understanding of your unique challenges. Everyone’s brain chemistry is different, and our staff will help you find the right medication and treatment for you.
To get started on the road to lasting recovery from your anxiety disorder, contact us today.