Types of Anxiety

(GAD) Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with GAD feel anxious and worried most of the time, not just in specific stressful situations, and these worries are intense, persistent and interfere with their normal lives.Their worries relate to several aspect of everyday life, including work, health, family and/or financial issues, rather than just one issue. Even minor things such as household chores or being late for an appointment can become the focus of anxiety, leading to uncontrollable worries and a feeling that something terrible will happen.


Social Anxiety/Social Phobias

People who suffer from social anxiety may fear being judged, criticised, laughed at or humiliated in front of others, even in the most ordinary, everyday situations. For example, the prospect of eating in front of others at a restaurant can be daunting for some people with social phobia.This is a condition which relays a lot of social issues and can make it quite hard for people to adjust to daily situations in which others would not give a second thought.

The main triggers for social anxiety would be :

  • Performance situations (such as having to give a speech or being watched while doing something at work)
  • Situations involving social interaction (such as having a meal with friends, or making small talk).

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD sometimes derives from an anxious issue or  thought becomes obsessive (recurring), it can influence unhealthy patterns of behaviour that can cause difficulties in daily functioning. Obsessively thinking 'I've left the oven on' can lead to repeated checking.

For people with OCD the compulsive acts that are performed are used to alleviate the distress or neutralize the thought.

People with OCD often feel intense shame about their need to carry out these compulsions. These feelings of shame can exacerbate the problem and the shame, and consequent secrecy associated with OCD can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment. It can also result in social disability, such as children failing to attend school or adults becoming housebound.

Panic Disorder

This type of crippling anxiety may strike people in different ways with many people not realising that they are suffering from anxiety and just describe their panic “attacks” as moments of extreme worry and uncertainty.

Panic disorder is the term used to describe when panic attacks are recurrent and disabling. Panic disorder can be characterised by:

The presence of recurring and unexpected (‘out of the blue’) panic attacks.

Worrying for at least a month after having a panic attack that you will have another one.

Worrying about the implications or consequences of a panic attack (such as thinking that the panic attack is a sign of an undiagnosed medical problem). For example, some people have repeated medical tests due to these worries and, despite reassurance, still have fears of being unwell.

Significant changes in behaviour that relate to the panic attacks (such as avoiding activities like exercise because it increases the heart rate).

During a panic attack, you're suddenly overwhelmed by the physical sensations described above. Panic attacks reach a peak within about 10 minutes and usually last for up to half an hour, leaving you feeling tired or exhausted. They can occur several times a day or may happen only once every few years. They can even occur while people are asleep, waking them up during the attack.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a particular set of reactions that can develop in people who have been through a traumatic event which threatened their life or safety, or that of others around them.

This could be a car or other serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war or torture, or disasters such as bushfires or floods. As a result, the person experiences feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror.

PTSD is a more commonly known symptom or condition of anxiety mainly due to its relevance with war veterans throughout the years for which PTSD has become an epidemic in that part of our society.