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Match Symptoms with Anxiety Disorder Type

Match Symptoms with Anxiety Disorder Type

By this moment, you must have recognized that you suffer from anxiety, much like the millions of people out there in the world who suffer from the same. Symptoms of anxiety are similar in many sufferers. However, the symptoms manifest themselves differently and varyingly in each individual. Different manifestations indicate different forms of anxiety called as anxiety disorders. Find the list of anxiety disorders with the signs and symptoms below. It will help you understand what exactly are you dealing with and will answer some of your questions about how to do and what to and where to go.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD is a worry experienced throughout the day that interferes with your living life normally. GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1 % of the population of the US every year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. According to it, women are twice as more likely to be affected. The cause of this disorder is not known. However, it is considered to make an onset in childhood days but either manifests or stabilizes in the adulthood. GAD is said to be the least severe type of anxiety disorder. People suffering from it function well and can hold employment, but their anxiety might prevent them from aspects or opportunities in life. GAD characteristically manifests itself in a physical form besides irrational worry and fear. Some of its symptoms are:

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Upset Stomach
  • Fatigue

 Anxiety attacks or panic attacks are a random unexpected time intervals of panic that are overwhelming in nature. There is also a constant fear that there might be another attack. This constant fear can result in an inferior quality of life for the sufferer. A tragic event can be a trigger for such panic attacks. However, most of the sufferers are said to experience the first attack in their childhood days, the reason behind it is unknown. The rate of recurrence of the attack is different for each individual. Sometimes those who are not aware of their condition associate these attacks with thyroid or heart conditions. Panic attacks involve emotional overwhelming pain. It is the disorder that is known to manifest in the physical form more often than any other anxiety disorder. Some of its symptoms are:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Light-headedness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Stuttering
  • Nausea
  • Detached feeling from reality
  • Feeling a loss of control
  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness
  • Throat tightness
  • Choking
  • Cramps

Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder or OCD is experiencing recurring unnecessary thoughts or having repeated unwanted behaviors, devastating a normal life. 2.3% of the population suffers from OCD, according to UOCD. Reasons behind the disorder manifestation are unknown. Typically noticed during puberty, the disorder evolves throughout the life of the sufferer, if untreated. Characteristically, a sufferer obsesses over a certain thought or performs one or multiple obsessive behaviors.

The sufferer does realize that what he is doing is unnecessary. But OCD is rooted in anxiety. This anxiety makes him fear that if he changes the thought or does not follow a particular behavior then he is going to face some terrible happenings. Or he will not be able to experience the relief after carrying out that behavior or having that thought. Some sufferers accept OCD as a part of their life and surrender to it. Mayo Clinic gives typical themes of obsessions for this disorder as below:

  • Fear of dirt or contamination
  • Need to keep things symmetrical or in an orderly fashion
  • Thoughts of harming others or oneself
  • Unwelcomed sexual or religious thoughts

Examples of symptoms and signs of obsessions are:

  • Fear of dirt or contamination
  • Doubts of whether the door has been locked or stove has been turned off or not
  • Stress experienced due to objects not being in a particular pattern or order
  • Thoughts of harming oneself or somebody else
  • Thoughts of improper conduct
  • Avoiding obsession triggering situations 
  • Stress of facing unpleasant sexual situations

Physical compulsion symptoms are:

  • Washing
  • Cleaning
  • Checking
  • Requiring reassurances
  • Orderliness
  • Counting
  • Needing to follow a strict routine

Phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear. It typically involves a particular person, thing, place or activity. Phobias usually develop when the person is very young. The reason behind a person developing a particular phobia is unknown. A tragic event in life may trigger a phobia. A phobia usually causes no harm to the sufferer and his fear is mostly unreal in nature. Phobias can be excessively harming one’s quality of life especially if the fear is something that will be encountered on a daily basis. Other physical symptoms are:

  • Racing or pounding heart
  • Breath shortness
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Tightness in chest or chest pain
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Fear of inescapable doom
  • Inability to speak or speaking rapidly
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Choking

Social Anxiety is the fear of being judged or humiliated or seen negatively by others. Around 15 million adults some form of social anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The causes being unknown, it usually onsets around puberty in sufferers. Many suffer from social anxiety for as much as ten years before seeking treatment. This is because the sufferers or their peers tag anxiety to their shy personality.
But, we know that social anxiety is not just shy personality. It is actually a disorder. One that affects the quality of life of the sufferer negatively. In fact, holds them back more than what a shy person would be. Sufferers mostly do not perform well in settings involving a large number of people – be it academic or occupational. Sufferers feel low self-worth, though they know they are better and that this fear is invalid. They are powerless in front of this fear of social situations. Some other symptoms are:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blushing
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness
  • Headaches
  • Low self-control
  • Detached from reality
  • Stuttering
  • Trembling

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is one of the most severe anxiety disorders. It basically originates from experiencing a traumatic or disturbing event. Around 8 million adults suffer from PTSD yearly, according to the US Department of Veteran Affairs. PTSD is like a panic attack that seldom stops. Hearing loud sounds or specific noises or seeing objects or even the smell of certain scents can start a flashback or full attack. In such situations, sufferers most often lose the sense of reality or rationality for moments together. This can be physically dangerous to both the sufferer and those around him. Some symptoms are:

  • Getting startled easily
  • Withdrawal from society
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Avoiding things that can remind of the distressing event
  • Undesired thoughts of harming oneself or others
  • Insomnia
  • Night terrors

While undergoing an attack due to a flashback of PSTD, the sufferer has the below symptoms:

  • Racing heart
  • Heart palpitations
  • Seeing unreal things
  • Hearing unreal things
  • Paranoia
  • Extreme intensity
  • Usage of vulgar or irrational actions and language
  • Sweating


Anxiety is of various forms. Many anxiety disorders share the signs and symptoms. However, the way the anxiety functions and the way it affects the sufferer is what sets the disorders apart. It is, therefore, necessary that you find the type of disorder you suffer so as to get it treated well. This discovery will also give you access to the best resources to treat your condition thus bettering the quality of your life forever.


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