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World Mental Health Day: Panic disorder to OCD; 5 anxiety disorders that could affect your mental health

By, New Delhi
Oct 09, 2023 03:39 PM IST

A person with anxiety disorder may avoid things, people and situations that make them overwhelmed, or they may repeatedly do things that comfort them.

We are all familiar with the feeling of anxiety - something that freezes us, scares us, make us nervous and underconfident. However, normally the feeling soon eases on its own in most of the people. Anxiety disorders are however different. When one is ruled by anxious feeling on most of the occasions and even everyday tasks seem overwhelming, it is time to pay attention to the signs and symptoms. A person with anxiety disorder may avoid things, people and situations that make them overwhelmed. They may repeatedly do things that comfort in hope to ease their anxiety. Even a minor event like a loved one leaving for work can trigger a panic attack in people with anxiety. (Also read: World Mental Health Day: New things to try if work-life balance isn't working)

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, let's discuss the most types of common anxiety disorders that impact people.(Unsplash)

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, let's discuss the most types of common anxiety disorders that impact people.

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"Anxiety is an emotion we all experience from time to time, especially when we are faced with stressful situations. However, sometimes anxiety can become overwhelming and affect our daily lives. This is when anxiety disorders come into play. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions that cause individuals to experience intense and prolonged feelings of anxiety that can impact their ability to function. Identifying and understanding anxiety disorders can help people seek appropriate treatment and support," says Dr Chandni Tugnait is M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director - Gateway of Healing.

Here are five main types of anxiety disorders as per Dr Tugnait:

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD is the most common type of anxiety disorder diagnosed in adults. People with GAD experience excessive worry or anxiety about everyday events or activities, to the point that it becomes a constant struggle. This can lead to trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms such as headaches and muscle tension. Those with GAD may also have an increased risk of developing depression or other anxiety disorders.

2. Panic Disorder

This features sudden, unexpected attacks of intense fear or terror, called panic attacks and deep concern about when another attack may happen. It often includes physical symptoms like a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath and trembling. Panic attacks can be so severe that they feel like a heart attack or a fatal condition, which then leads to individuals avoiding similar situations and developing agoraphobia.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

SAD causes persistent and intense fear or anxiety about social situations. People with SAD may avoid social interactions altogether because of a fear of judgment, ridicule, or rejection. This can make it challenging for individuals to build relationships, advance in their careers, or enjoy social activities. SAD is a common problem that can begin in childhood.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is another type of anxiety disorder that affects more than 1% of the general population. People with OCD have unwanted, intrusive, repetitive thoughts or behaviours that cause stress and anxiety. For instance, individuals may feel the need to perform routine gestures or actions to prevent harm from occurring. They may also experience intense fear of contamination, which can be disabling and interfere with daily routines.

5. Separation Anxiety Disorder

This involves extreme fear about being away from home or separated from loved ones, beyond what's expected at a particular age. Children with separation anxiety may constantly worry about losing their parents.

"There are many nuances within each disorder. Proper evaluation by a mental health professional can identify the specific type of anxiety disorder based on the symptoms and situations that trigger anxiety most frequently. Targeted treatment plans can help manage symptoms. These disorders are treatable with medications, psychotherapy, and a combination of therapies. By seeking help, individuals can regain control of their lives and improve their mental well-being. If you or someone you know may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, seek professional help," concludes Dr Tugnait.

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