Identifying the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

  • Posted at May 5, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
Identifying the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

When people think of an anxiety disorder, they imagine a person who is struggling with large amounts of stress and anxiety. However, there are actually different types of anxiety disorders that all come with their own defining characteristics and symptoms. Differentiating between the various types of anxiety disorders can help people struggling with anxiety to identify which type of anxiety disorder they may be living with. This way, they can get the proper care through treatment they need in order to overcome symptoms and live a life of better mental wellbeing.

The different types of anxiety disorders include:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This is typically the anxiety disorder people think of when anxiety disorders are discussed. It’s characterized by chronic levels of anxiety that are debilitating to daily life. Certainly, stressing and worrying rea common human emotions. However, normally, people stress and worry when there is something to stress and worry about. On the other hand, people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder experience high levels of anxiety, feelings of worry, dread, and tension even when there is nothing to stimulate these emotions.

Panic Disorder

This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by a person experiencing panic attacks. Panic attacks are extreme episodes of fear and physical symptoms including a heavy or even painful chest, rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, stomach aches, and lightheadedness. People with panic disorder often have panic attacks repeatedly. And, the issue continues constantly as they are afraid of having more panic attacks – which stimulates a continual cycle of panic attacks. People with panic disorder describe having panic attacks that mimic feelings of having a heart attack. So, they are extremely scary and uncomfortable to experience, which is what results in the fear of having more panic attacks.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder that’s characterized by obsessive thoughts that are followed by compulsive behaviors. People with OCD have obsessive thoughts that are typically unwanted and unprovoked. Compulsive behaviors are conducted in order to attempt to control obsessive thoughts. Some examples of compulsions include excessive cleaning of hands, counting, repeating sayings, cleaning, and checking (like locks or if the oven is off).


Phobias are fears that present overwhelming levels of fear for those who experience them. A social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, is a fear of being in crowded spaces. Phobias keep people from living their lives to the fullest as they may avoid people, places, and things in order to avoid their phobias.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This type of anxiety disorder is brought on by an experience or experiences with trauma. While every person may experience a traumatic event sometime in their lifetimes, people who develop PTSD cannot move past the effects of trauma. PTSD can be developed as the result of experiencing traumatic situations including war combat, the sudden loss of a loved one, witnessing or being the victim of a violent crime, surviving a natural disaster, etc. Symptoms of PTSD often include nightmares, flashbacks of the traumatic event, and avoidance behaviors.

Getting Help for Anxiety Disorders

When people understand that there is more than one type of anxiety disorders, they may be more capable of pinpointing the anxiety disorders they may be facing. So, if you think that you or a loved one is living with an anxiety disorder, treatment is available. Yellowbrick offers outpatient treatment services that can help people living with various anxiety disorders so they can learn the coping skills necessary to overcome symptoms of anxiety disorders.

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