What Anxiety Disorder do I have? is a common question that we get asked. It can often be hard to make an accurate diagnosis of exactly what your specific issue is. There are various forms of anxiety and stress that can complicate this. In this post, we break down the various types of anxiety disorder for you. Then we help you to try and figure out which one is most relevant to you at this time. Let’s get started…
The 5 types of anxiety disorder
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Separation anxiety
We have covered each of these below. Read through each of them to start to understand what type you might have.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
With Generalised anxiety disorder, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension. Even if there’s nothing going on in your life that would typically trigger these feelings.
You may worry a lot about various topics pretty much every day. Typically this includes things like health, work, school and relationships.
You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next. With no real let-up in these feelings and emotions.
There are also physical symptoms of GAD. These typically include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and sleeping problems.
If you have a panic disorder, then you experience intense, sudden panic attacks. These attacks often feature stronger, more intense feelings than other types of anxiety disorders.
The feelings of panic and terror often start very suddenly. They often come unexpectedly or they may come from a trigger, like facing a situation you dread.
During a panic attack, you may experience:
- Heart palpitations (feeling like your heart is pounding).
- Chest pain.
- Feeling of choking, which can make you think you’re having a heart attack or “going crazy.”
Panic attacks can be very distressing. People with panic disorder often spend a lot of time worrying about the next panic attack. They also try to avoid situations that might trigger an attack.
Phobias are an intense fear of certain situations or objects. Some of these fears may make sense, such as a fear of snakes. But often, the level of fear doesn’t match the situation.
Like with other anxiety disorders, you may spend a lot of time trying to avoid situations that may trigger the phobia.
A specific phobia, or a simple phobia, is an intense fear of a particular object or situation. It may cause you to avoid everyday situations. Some specific phobias include fear of:
- Animals, such as spiders, dogs or snakes.
- Injections (shots).
Separation anxiety mostly happens to children or teens. Often when they worry about being away from their parents.
Children with separation anxiety disorder may fear that their parents will be hurt in some way. Or not come back as promised.
Separation anxiety happens a lot in preschoolers. But older children and adults who experience a stressful event may have separation anxiety disorder as well.