Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety often occurs in everyday stressful situations, and it signals you to prepare for and attend to the circumstances. Anxiety disorders are different because they involve excessive fear, worry or nervousness. These are the different type of anxiety disorders:

Panic Disorder

The disorder includes recurrent panic attacks that generate physiological responses, including rapid heart rate, palpitations, trembling, dizziness, fainting, feeling of losing control, shortness of breath and fear of dying. Clients may feel that they are facing cardiac arrest and go to the hospital. Panic attacks can be in response to a feared object or situation, such as sitting in airplanes.

Specific Phobia

This involves excessive and persistent fear of an object, activity or circumstance. The situation or fear item may not actually harmful or as dangerous as perceived. The client cannot overcome it, despite knowing that the fear is excessive. Given the distressing stimuli, people go to extreme lengths to avoid the situation, such as fear of elevators, spiders, dogs, airplanes etc.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This involves an excessive and persistent fear due to which daily activities are disrupted.  In distressing situations, the person constantly worries about a possible approaching danger, which rarely occurs. There is a feeling restless, fatigued, difficulties in concentration and sleeping and muscle tension. The person may worry about job, responsibilities, family, expenditures or minor everyday things, such as tasks and appointments.

 Separation Anxiety Disorder

The person feels anxious about separation from people he is attached to, which leads to dysfunction. The person is persistently worried about losing a close one and would be disallow the close one from going away, even if it is for a short duration or distances. Patient may see nightmares about being separated.

 Social Anxiety Disorder

The person fears being embarrassed, humiliated or rejected in social situations. People experience excessive anxiety in the social context or try to avoid it completely. The problem may last for 6 months and causes problems in daily functioning. This could include fear of new people or public speaking.


The person fears being in situations from which it is difficult or embarrassing to escape. The fear is excessive in the actual situation and could last more than 6 months. Excessive fear causes problems in everyday functioning. This could include fear of open or closed spaces, being alone or being in a crowd.