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What are Anxiety Disorders?

Looking at Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

Picture this: You are out to lunch with friends. You all order a glass of champagne to toast an upcoming job promotion. The sun is shining, and the weather is a warm and sunny. You feel as though life is wonderful in this moment. You have no plans for the rest of the day and you’re hoping to get home to clean up, light some candles, and read a good book. What could possibly go wrong?

Suddenly, as you’re working your way through your lunch, you begin to feel a tightness in your chest. It stops you in your tracks as your stomach starts to flip upside down, your palms become sweaty, and your heart begins to race.

It’s a feeling you’re all too familiar with. Anxiety.

Not again….” you think to yourself as your mind is now flooded with worry that your once picture-perfect day is going to instead become 12 hours of feeling on edge, and irritable.

Does this sound like you? If anxiety rears its ugly head for seemingly no reason, or you feel as though you can’t control it, you may be struggling with an anxiety disorder. Rest assured, while anxiety can be debilitating, there are many tips you can use to work through it on your own.

Here we are going to talk about what anxiety is, and the different types of anxiety disorders.

What Is an Anxiety Disorder?

Every single person in life feels anxious. It may be because of an upcoming job promotion, or a speech you must give in front of your colleagues. Whatever the reason, anxiety feels like nervousness’ evil twin. It’s difficult to ignore and comes on suddenly with force.

For individuals that do not struggle with an anxiety disorder, these uncomfortable feelings will dissipate as the event passes. You may feel a huge weight fall off your shoulders after you complete your presentation, or finally be able to feel a sigh of relief after you open that email.

Anxiety disorders are different. Someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder will feel intense anxiety that does not go away after a trigger has passed. Anxiety is characterised as a strong feeling of fear, worry, or dread that can greatly interfere with a person’s daily life.

These worries are then met with both physical and emotional symptoms that can make it incredibly difficult to ignore.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Some people who suffer from anxiety feel it most in their physical symptoms. Examples of physical signs include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle tension
  • Aches and pains
  • Tight chest
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Exhaustion

Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

On the other hand, some people experience anxiety more so in their emotions and mental state. Examples of emotional signs include:

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Feeling restless or tense
  • Feeling a sense of incoming danger or doom
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Outbursts
  • Fear
  • Overall emotional distress

While these two sets of symptoms seem distinct, those who experience anxiety disorder often feel them both at once, making anxiety an even harder issue to overcome.

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

As with any diagnosis in the mental health field, there are subtypes of anxiety based on what triggers them and how the symptoms present themselves. Despite their unique differences, the link between all types of anxiety disorders is fear and worry.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

In the United Kingdom alone, nearly 8 million people suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

GAD is what most people commonly think of when they hear the word ‘anxiety disorder’. It is characterised by chronic, exaggerated fear, worry, and nervousness that has a profound effect on their daily life.

This type of anxiety is focused on the future.

“What if XYZ happens…” 

“I can’t do that because what if I fail at XYZ…” 

“My child isn’t allowed to play outside because what if XYZ”

Generalised Anxiety Disorder focuses so much on the what if aspect of life, rather than living in the present moment. No trigger must be present for anxiety to occur and many people with GAD wake up feeling anxious for no particular reason.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Sure, it may feel uncomfortable to attend a social gathering alone. Or maybe you’ve felt nervous to join that yoga group since you don’t know anyone else there. This is perfectly normal.

However, someone with social anxiety has a crippling fear of others. This fear is rooted in the idea that if they attend an outing with large groups of people, others will talk about them behind their back, laugh at them, ridicule them, or embarrass them.

Despite there being no evidence to support this idea, forcing someone with social anxiety to interact with others may trigger a panic attack. Someone suffering from social anxiety will avoid all people or places that trigger this feeling and are often isolated from the rest of the world.

Panic Attack Disorder

If you’ve ever experienced a panic attack, it is unlikely you would forget it. Panic attacks are terrifying ordeals to go through physically, and mentally.

Panic attacks are similar to anxiety in that they’re rooted in a deep place of fear. However, when someone experiences a panic attack they suddenly and violently become afraid of everything around them. Often, they may feel as though they’re going to die, only accelerating this panic. The symptoms of a panic attack present themselves in vibrant ways, making them easier to spot. A person may begin to hyperventilate, cry, feel as though they can’t breathe, experience tightness in their chest, and feel an intense sense of danger.

Many people with panic attack disorders try their best to avoid anything that may trigger them. They work hard to keep themselves away from places where it has happened before, as many of them live in fear of another one coming on.

Do You Have Anxiety?

If you do, you are far from the only one. 1 in every 20 people in the UK struggles with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can be brought upon by stress, medications, certain health conditions, or simply because of your genetics.

Anxiety can hit at any moment and while one second you feel fine, the next your mind is racing with fear and worry. You might begin to sweat or tremble, and you may suddenly feel angry at every little noise you hear.

Only you can control the outcome of your life. While anxiety will try its best to run the show from behind the scenes, you don’t have to live this way. Once you get control of your anxiety through the help of a mental health professional, you will be on your way to living a calmer, stress-free life.

Orchestrate Health offers bespoke mental health services that you can access from the comfort of your own home or within your community, with rapid response times and even daily visits if needed. Orchestrate Health can provide help for those struggling with an anxiety disorder, and remove the inconvenience of travelling to and from appointments.



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