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Part 5: Different Classifications (Types) of Anxiety Disorders

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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
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of focus
  • Trembling
  • 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
  • Fainting
  • Choking
  • Sweating
  • 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.

Michael

PS: If you need help RIGHT NOW, click here and STOP your panic attacks!

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  1. 16 Comment(s)

  2. By NancyC on Jan 20, 2009 | Reply

    Not sure what you mean about the other side and “sukrat”… but if I can respond to what might be implied as to the medical side of panic, anxiety or any other psychological issue…

    I think there are times when doctors and medicine can be of some help. As I’ve said in previous posts, I’ve gone that route as well.

    From my own experience, my opinion is that there are times when things can seem so overwhelming, intervention with anti-depressants can be of some help in allowing someone to clear the fog, so to speak. But I also feel that these methods should only be used in the most extreme cases, and most definitely on a VERY temporary basis. No matter what, no one can heal from a disorder until they identify and face what the root cause of the issue is.

    A psychologist can be of help in this regard to assist in the discovery, the confrontation and the eventual cure… but this is only possible when a person is willing to do the work themselves. A psychologist, a psychiatrist, anti-depressants or sedatives don’t, and never will “cure” a person suffering from these disorders.

    I’d like to hear your thoughts.

    Michael

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  7. By A. Barret on Apr 26, 2009 | Reply

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  8. By katehudson on Jun 16, 2009 | Reply

    You made some good points there. I found most people will agree with your blog.

  9. By Chris Imamshah on Jul 21, 2009 | Reply

    Hi Michael,

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the way you broke this disorder into the 5 categories. Very helpful for those suffering from any of these.

    I first became interested in Panic Attacks when my sister-in-law made me aware that she suffered from this. Then I began to hear of more and more people suffering also. Never realized how big a problem it is in our society. Sad really since most often it is simply imagined issues that cause it.

    The scary thing is as you say that most doctors will simply prescribe drugs as a solution. My preference is always to find a natural solution for any problem I may have so totally agree with you there.

    Again great helpful post.

    Thanks,
    Chris

  10. By Michael on Jul 25, 2009 | Reply

    Glad you found the format easy to understand.

    The sad truth is that doctors are quick to prescribe a pill to fix all things… and sad that people are quick to take that advise without giving a second thought.

    These magic pills may work well to eliminate the discomfort, but the don’t do a thing to correct the root cause of the problem. Additionally, there are some serious side effect and dependence issues with many of them. The other thing even more obscure is that once prescribed and taken, they become a part of your medical history that can cause a flag later on that people deciding to take them would never think about. An anti-depressant of anti-anxiety med is a flag in a medical profile… jobs, future insurance, etc…

    Doctors and therapists never bring up this minor point… but if you know an insurance agent well, like I do… they’ll educate you.

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  12. By NancyC on Aug 30, 2009 | Reply

    I don’t know about comments increasing, but I’ve also gotten very good feedback… I run it on all but 1 of my blogs… it does a good job “inviting” and encouraging comments in a very positive way.

  13. By Mark Testa on Oct 2, 2009 | Reply

    Interesting to see the facts, thanks for putting these disorders and their symptoms nicely.

    In GAD, if a person is sleeping but still very much conscious about the environment, and trying to get a sleep but cannot sleep, does that also constitute as a symptom ?

    I didn’t know Celebrities suffer from Social Anxieties, they’re one of them who have to constantly engage with public but yeah fear of bring judged can be a factor.

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  15. By Dianna James on Oct 31, 2009 | Reply

    Great article here, Away from Stereotypic issues and well written away from Hi-Voca Lawyer language.

  16. By NancyC on Nov 5, 2009 | Reply

    Insomnia is definitely a symptom!! But it’s a symptom of a lot of things… learn to control stress, and you cure more ailments than you realize you had.

    Celebs… that constant need for validation, for the most part… can you identify with those that have beat their anxiety?

  17. By im from THaunch Hemsley on Jul 28, 2010 | Reply

    Hello,
    How can I prevent panic attacks or how can I beat panic attacks?
    Really great post, enjoyed reading it. Thanks,
    Tim

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