What are the different types of Anxiety?
(Generalized Anxiety, Social, OCD, Panic, and Phobias)
There are many different types of anxiety all of which have their own triggers and various symptoms:
- Generalized Anxiety - Persistent and excessive worry about a number of different areas (relationships, work, money, and self). People often have a difficult time controlling their worry.
- Social Anxiety - An intense and persistent fear of being judged or rejected by others in a social setting or performance. This can cause extreme discomfort in social situations and general avoidance.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) that lead to certain behaviors (compulsions) in an attempt to distract, control, or dispel the thoughts. For example, distressing thoughts make cause a person to engage in a tapping ritual in order for the person to feel better and be able to move on with their day.
- Panic Attacks - A sudden, intense surge of anxiety or fear. It can feel like you can't breathe or you're having a heart attack.
- Specific Phobia - An excessive and unreasonable fear caused by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation (airplane, animals, storms, heights, etc).
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
- Excessive worry - "I feel like I'm always worried or thinking about..."
- Irrational Fears - This can be towards situations, relationships, or objects. Often they know they shouldn't be afraid but their bodies automatically feel anxious or afraid in these areas of their life.
- Difficulty Sleeping - Restlessness during sleep or difficulty feeling rested after a long night of sleep.
- Indigestion (Chronic) and Muscle Tension - Anxiety can be manifested through somatic symptoms (physical) such as indigestion and muscle tension.
- Panic Attacks - May be due to a specific trigger or can happen randomly during the day.
- Self-doubt or self-conscious feelings - Always questioning oneself and/or ability to perform in a expected way.
- Perfectionistic Attitude - Difficult to let go or have a 'go with the flow' attitude. It can be difficult to allow yourself to make mistakes or not judge yourself so harshly.
How to Treat Anxiety in Therapy?
There are many different types of treatment for anxiety depending on the specific symptoms (cognitive behavioral therapy CBT, exposure therapy, and talk therapy). In general though, all therapy is geared towards addressing underlying fears that lead to anxious feelings and thoughts. My work with people is to first help them understand what they are experiencing and then together we'll address these fears in a safe, contained way so that they can feel more free and connected in their lives.