What are the Different Types of Anxiety?

Anxiety can present itself in many different ways. Anxiety affects everyone differently and you may recognise that you have the symptoms of more than one type, or you may even find you have a combination of anxiety and depression.
The most common forms of anxiety are:
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Phobias

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Anxiety becomes a disorder if you are feeling intensely worried or fearful the majority of the time about a variety of situations, and you have been feeling this way in excess of 6 months. This is the most common form of anxiety and it may be triggered by everyday events and/or appears to be for no specific reason or event.

It can have an impact on your relationships, your ability to work or hold down employment, your energy levels, your concentration levels and your sleep.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder, sometimes known as Social Phobia, is an overwhelming feeling of intense fear and self-consciousness about being around other people. You may be worried that you will do something humiliating, or act in a certain way that is embarrassing when in front of others. As a result, you may avoid public places as you have an excessive fear of being judged or criticized.

You may be able to recognise that your fears aren’t always logical, but it is difficult for you to control them. Social anxiety can be limited to only one situation or event, such as a fear of eating or drinking in front of others, or in a more extreme form such as constantly when around other people.

Panic Disorder

Someone with a panic disorder will regularly suffer with unprovoked and intense feelings of panic combined with the physical sensations that may include increased heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness and often chest and/or stomach pain. These feelings can be particularly scary when in the midst of an attack, as it can feel as if we have no control over what is happening to us and we cant properly take a breath.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Someone struggling with OCD will have excessive and recurrent anxious unwanted thoughts and will often try and relieve these thoughts by obsessively performing repeated rituals.

Someone with OCD may be able to recognise that the rituals are obsessive but will continue to use them as a coping strategy to manage the intrusive thoughts. Performing these rituals will usually only provide temporary relief, hence they have to be repeated over and over, but their anxiety would escalate should they be unable to perform these rituals.

Examples may include repeatedly washing their hands if they are concerned about coming into contact with germs.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD may occur after a particularly traumatic and terrifying event where some physical harm occurred, was witnessed or threatened. PTSD was originally recognised in war veterans but it is now widely acknowledged that any event that is traumatic to the individual may trigger PTSD including violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, or accidents.

Someone with PTSD may find it difficult to relax, and experience upsetting dreams or flashbacks of the event.


If you have an intense fear of a specific object, place, situation, feeling or animal, then it may be a phobia. People with phobias often have a heightened feeling of danger towards the situation or object, and this fear can even be triggered by a thought or image of the situation of object. Someone with a phobia may recognise that their fear is excessive to the situation or object but are unable to control it. Someone with a phobia would often go to great lengths to avoid the thing that’s causing them anxiety.

If anxiety is something you or your loved ones struggle with regularly, then please get in touch to discuss how I can help you. You can book a FREE 45 minute discovery call here

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