Types of anxiety disorders

There are five different types of anxiety disorders. You've probably already heard of the following terms, but here is a brief description. For more information, you can purchase, from the canadian Association for mental health pamphlets that explore each of these topics in greater depth.

Panic disorders

"Panic attacks" are associated with cestroubles; they can strike without warning and are accompanied by feelings of terror that range from mild to extreme. The fear experienced by people with a panic disorder is intense, unpredictable, and overwhelming. After you have experienced a panic attack, some people are so scared of having another one, they avoid any situation in which they could not escape or find help. As a result, they do not use public transport, do not visit shopping centres, or in some cases, does not risk to leave their home. This is called a panic disorder with agoraphobia.


Phobias are usually divided into two categories : specific and social. People with a specific phobia have an uncontrolled, irrational fear of a particular thing. It can be an object, a situation, an animal, an activity or any other significant thing to this person. Whatever this thing is, the person experiences levels inexplicable fear, and often takes extreme measures to avoid it.

Social phobias cause excessive anxiety in social situations. These fears go beyond the discomfort or apprehension mean that we can experience when, for example, we mingled with the guests a reception, but they actually develop into feelings of extreme anxiety. People with social phobias would rather avoid a gathering of people than to suffer the anxiety that accompanies this situation.

Disorder post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

After having lived an experience which has put his life in danger or caused physical harm or emotional, a person may suffer PTSD. Among the incidents that can cause PTSD, there is, for example, rape, ill-treatment of a child, war, or natural disaster. People with PTSD do not only face the symptoms described earlier, but they can also have flashbacks of the incident, nightmares, depression, anger irrepressible, and irritability.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

People with OCD have unwanted, persistent thoughts (obsessions) and a need to perform repetitive activities (compulsions) that take up a lot of space in their lives.

Often, the person who has obsessions knows that their thoughts are irrational and excessive, but she can't ignore. The obsessive thoughts can include a fear of contamination, fears and worries over things done or not done, of fixations of a sexual nature or religious.

In order to relieve their intrusive thoughts, people with OCD have patterns compulsive dictated by the "rules" to be very accurate. These habits excessive provide temporary relief, but the obsessive thoughts come back shortly after. The compulsive behaviors may, for example, consist of washing the hands repeatedly, to put some order back constantly to check and after how long.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

The TAG is characterized by a concern repeated and exaggerated for more than six months. People with GAD worry disproportionately about events and routine activities, others worry about very little; they still expect the worst, and dramatize constantly.

The Causes

Anxiety disorders are not the "fault" of the person who is experiencing it, they do not demonstrate a weakness of character. In fact, research has shown that these disorders are the result most probably of a combination of biological factors and complex psychological, as well as exposure to difficult situations at the beginning of life.

Researchers have found that biological factors of anxiety disorder include causes, possibly genetic (because these disorders often manifest in families), changes in the level of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and alterations in certain parts of the brain.

The psychological factors include the ways in which people learn to perceive certain situations or certain signs, the fears they associate with things, as well as the degree of control they believe they have, in relation to events or situations. These factors are referred to as the factors " cognitive-behavioral ", and they also form the basis of the treatment.

Some researchers also add the factors of "growth" as a precursor to an anxiety disorder. These factors are the result of childhood experiences which determine the way an adult copes with the anxiety.