6 Different Types Of Anxiety And How To Handle Them
Stressful situations and personal problems are part of life, but everyone handles them differently. While some people may face challenges head-on and move past them, others experience increased feelings of anxiety. It’s normal to deal with occasional anxiety, but it can become a reoccurring problem.
If your anxiety disrupts your ability to lead a successful personal, educational or professional life, you may have an anxiety disorder. After you read about these six different types of anxiety and how to handle them, you may find simple solutions to navigate your mental health needs.
1. Social Anxiety Disorder
When a friend or family member invites you to hang out or attend a party, do you feel you anxiety rise? Social interactions can trigger fears and uncomfortable symptoms for many people who have a social anxiety disorder. This disorder may cause you to stay isolated for prolonged periods and pass on meeting with even your closest loved ones.
As you battle your fight or flight response, take slow deep breaths for up to a minute to slow your heart rate. Remind yourself that these people love you and want the best for you. You’ll be in a safe place and have the option to leave if you become too stressed out.
2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Sometimes people have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and experience symptoms in various places and situations. One day you might panic about making phone calls, but the next day your biggest worry is completing an assignment.
There are many ways to handle your GAD episodes, like talking it out with a friend or controlling your emotions by slowing down your racing heart. Be kind to yourself when you recognize your symptoms and extend yourself grace to get through each setback and learn from it.
3. Panic Disorder
A panic disorder diagnosis usually follows weeks to months of reoccurring panic attacks. Attacks can appear differently in each person, but they come with severe symptoms like having trouble breathing and chest pains similar to those that precede heart attacks.
You can reduce and stop a panic attack with a few techniques. First, recognize and accept what’s happening in your mind. Fighting it will only increase your anxiety. Try focusing on your breathing, environment or a single object to ground you. If you don’t feel debilitated, light exercises like walking can also vent your anxiety and ease you back to a state of serenity.
4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People often forget that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety. If you’ve ever started repetitive habits without a particular reason, like tying each shoe ten times before leaving the house, your anxiety could present with this disorder. Sometimes this develops when people use these rituals to deal with stress, but it leads patients to miss out on career or social opportunities.
The best way to handle this anxiety is to stop your OCD thoughts before they manifest into compulsions. This will take time, but anyone can do this with practice and dedication. When you catch yourself thinking thoughts that used to lead to your habits, use cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to disengage with your anxieties.
Rationalize your concerns until you can ground yourself in the moment with mindful thought processes and encouragement. As you learn which tips work best for you, you can more effectively handle reoccurring compulsions.
5. Separation Anxiety Disorder
Kids can get separation anxiety disorder as they struggle to adjust to full-time schooling, but people can retain this anxiety well into their adult years. This presents when you might have to go back to work after having a baby or leave someone alone for even a short time. You could worry that the person will hurt themselves or something terrible will happen to your baby if you’re not there to watch them.
There are a few ways to help yourself through separation anxiety, so try them out to see which ones are most effective for you. You could start to limit your check-ins with the person you’re anxious about or redirect your thoughts to immediate things you can control right now, like solving a copier malfunction at work to get your mind off of a different worry.
6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Anxiety can also present itself as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after traumatic life experiences. You might have returned home from deployment overseas, been in a car accident or survived another kind of physical assault or near-death experience. This anxiety is your mind trying to help you avoid future risks, but it can result in avoidance behaviors, hyperarousal or habits that keep you from leading a full life.
PTSD makes patients feel powerless, so recover from and end your symptoms by taking back your power. Volunteer in your community to feel good about helping someone in need. Form a support system where you can talk about your anxieties and exercise to release endorphins that combat your mental battle.
Discuss Concerns With Your Doctor
It’s always good to learn about the different types of anxieties and how to handle them, but there’s always another resource to help you. If you don’t think your coping mechanisms are helping, discuss your concerns with your doctor. They can advise more specific steps for your medical case so you don’t have to live with constant anxiety.
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