by Troop Atomic Mommy
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We all experience feelings of anxiety from time to time. In many cases, this anxiety is rational. However, there are instances where it can be totally irrational, negatively affecting our everyday life. This is when regular anxiety becomes a disorder.
Here are 5 common types of anxiety disorders and how to treat them.
A phobia is an overwhelming fear of a specific place, person, animal or situation. This could include anything from spiders to flying in a plane to seeing a dentist.
Many of us are able to live with phobias without them causing too much disruption to our lives. However, for some of us they can become truly debilitating and even life-threatening (such as not seeing a doctor for a health concern because of a fear of doctors). In these cases, it is worth seeking out therapy to overcome them. There are treatment centers that specialize in phobias that could be worth looking into.
#2 Social anxiety
Social anxiety is an intense fear of social interactions – particularly talking to new people. People with this form of anxiety may fear being judged by others or may fear that their mind will go blank. This causes them to avoid talking to people in social situations, or in other cases, avoid social situations altogether.
Social anxiety can prevent people from making friends, landing or keeping a job, and achieving many goals that require social interaction. Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication can both be used to help people overcome social anxiety. Natural stress relief measures may also help.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a form of an anxiety disorder triggered by a traumatic event. It can lead to nightmares, flashbacks, and irrational displays of fear and/or irritability in certain situations. For example, someone who was in a near-death car accident, may have nightmares and flashbacks of the event and may avoid driving or even traveling by road.
PTSD can be seriously debilitating and often requires professional treatment to overcome. There are many different forms of therapy worth trying, such as rapid resolution therapy. An important part of overcoming trauma is learning to confront it in a healthy way.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a form of anxiety disorder in which a person develops repeated unwanted thoughts and urges. This often leads to repetitive habits and rituals that the person cannot control such as excessively cleaning one’s hands or repeatedly checking that a door is locked.
People with OCD may avoid certain situations or waste large amounts of time undertaking rituals, which can ultimately affect life goals and relationships. Various forms of therapy and medication can be used to treat OCD.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can result in people excessively worrying about situations, often assuming that the worst will happen. Someone with GAD may constantly worry about minor situations like running late or may excessively worry about their health or the health of a loved one. It can be similar to OCD but the person does not undertake repetitive rituals to relieve this anxiety. Instead, a person can let these feelings build up and become more severe.
Like other forms of anxiety mentioned above, GAD can cause people to avoid certain situations or waste time taking necessary precautions. If you feel that you may suffer from GAD, it could be worth seeking out therapy. Medication may also be able to help relieve this form of anxiety.
Anxiety manifests itself in many different forms and while the above list is just a guide, there are other types of anxiety disorders to look out for. So, if you’re feeling higher than “your normal” levels of anxiety, then it may be time to consider visiting your doctor for a diagnosis. And remember, anxiety can make you feel alone, but you’re not alone. Tell someone how you’re feeling and seek support.