Here you go, everything you want to know about anxiety disorders and perhaps some things you didn’t want to know.
Anxiety disorders are basically classified into 5 different types.
1. General Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This is usually the most prevalent of the anxiety disorders and will manifest itself in many different ways, including an anxiety or panic attack.
GAD is usually diagnosed in someone who has had a very stressful situation in the past six months and AFTER a panic attack has occurred. Many of the symptoms of GAD may go unnoticed until the sufferer actually experiences an attack. The more common symptoms of GAD include:
- Difficulty in sleeping through the night
- Muscle tension or muscle pain
- Lack of focus
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Difficulty in breathing
Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? If so know that you are far from alone when it comes to this anxiety disorder. You may experience some or all of these symptoms.
2. Panic Disorder: Similar to GAD, except that it is more intense.
It closely related to GAD in the symptoms which include:
- Chest pain
- Shaking or trembling
- Feeling like you are having a breakdown
- Fear of death or morbid thoughts
- Stomach pain, often accompanied by nausea
- Feeling like you are not in reality
People who suffer from panic disorder usually have more acute than those who suffer from GAD.
Panic disorder is usually related to an environmental cause and Doctors will try and control it with medication (Xanax) or perhaps refer you to a Psychiatrist couch.
Neither of which is an acceptable solution as far as I am concerned. Medications do nothing but mask the problem, and psychiatrist talk never meant much to me. Most of the psychiatrists I’ve ever know are the most screwed up people in the world, the last choice I would have to help me with anything.
3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: This disorder is further broken down into two categories, which should be obvious, obsession and compulsion.
Obsessive thoughts can drive a person to perform, for lack of a better word, ritualistic behaviors. For example, locking and unlocking doors, repeatedly washing their hands or showering (Howard Hughes comes to mind), continually checking to see if the furnace is on or off, or the stove, or any myriad of other “rituals” that give them the sense that they are “in control” of the situation.
Obsessive thoughts drive these activities and it doesn’t matter what the person does, they will continue to return to the ritualistic behavior.
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is best perhaps exemplified by the Viet Nam Soldier returning home, or any soldier returning from war for that matter. However, this disorder affects milllions of others too.
The good news here, is that the cause is easily identified whereas in some of the other disorders it isn’t.
Another example of this would be 9-11 - and to a lesser degree, the presidential election of 2,000, when many people became convinced the election was “stolen”. In fact, they created their own terminology for that particular event - Post Election Stress Trauma. PEST - appropo!
5. Social Anxiety Disorder basically means you fear something happening to you in Public and includes the following symptoms:
- Fear of losing control in public
- Fear of people talking about you
- Fear of being judged by other people
- Fear of being ridiculed
- Fear of being in a crowd
It is interesting to note that many famous celebrities suffer from Social Anxiety.
Probably because they are seeing to much of their psychiatrist!
There you have it, the five classifications of anxiety and panic attacks.
Which one are you suffering from? I know if you’re reading this blog you aren’t here because you’re healthy. Have you identified your particular bugaboo yet? Take heart, you can be free.
PS: If you need help RIGHT NOW, click here and STOP your panic attacks!