Anxiety is a much used word that comes up routinely in conversations, but to many anxiety is a source of major disruption, from panic attacks, irrational rituals, flashbacks, performance nerves. In this article, I describe the many forms that anxiety can take. When you experience real anxiety, you often can’t specify what it is you’re anxious about, for example, you may have experienced a traumatic event in the past but it still causes anxiety even though the threat no longer exists. It is not the same as anxiety that may come about say because of being late for a meeting.
Anxiety has a physical element to it e.g heart racing, behavioural e.g. avoiding a situation and cognitive e.g thinking irationally. Anxiety that is not connected with any particular situation, that comes “out of the blue,” is called free-floating anxiety or, in more severe instances, a spontaneous panic attack. If your anxiety arises only in response to a specific situation, it is called situational anxiety. Then situational anxiety becomes phobic when you actually start to avoid the situation. Often anxiety can be brought on merely by thinking about a particular situation. When you feel distressed about what might happen when or if you have to face one of your phobic situations, you are experiencing what is called anticipatory anxiety. In its milder forms, anticipatory anxiety is indistinguishable from ordinary “worrying.” But sometimes anticipatory anxiety becomes intense enough to be called anticipatory panic.
Here is a list of anxiety disorders that are known to be helped with psychotherapy and hypnotherapy.
Agoraphobia – a fear of being in a public place where escape would be embarrassing or difficult. This is particularly prevalent when a person fears they may have a panic attack.
Anxiety due to a general medical condition – this type of anxiety disorder can be short- or long-term depending on the medical condition. Anxiety often develops in relation to illnesses like heart conditions.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – anxiety symptoms occur in multiple environments and due to multiple objects or situations. Anxiety symptoms may not have a known cause.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – anxiety symptoms are in the form of intrusive, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors (or mental acts). OCD is considered a chronic type of anxiety disorder
Panic disorder – consists of severe, immediate anxiety symptoms (a panic attack) due to a variety of causes, as well as the worry over having another panic attack.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – anxiety symptoms that occur after a trauma and are long-term in nature.
Social phobia, also referred to as social anxiety disorder – anxiety symptoms occur in social or performance situations and stem from the fear of being humiliated or embarrassed.
Specific phobia (also known as a simple phobia) – anxiety symptoms occur around a specific object or situation which results in avoidance.
In addition short lived anxiety may he triggered by certain stressful situations:
Acute stress disorder – diagnosed when anxiety symptoms occur immediately following a trauma, but are short-lived.
Adjustment disorder with anxious features – diagnosed when a person develops anxiety symptoms in relation to a major life-changing event – like getting married or moving to another city. Symptoms generally start within three months of the stressful event and occur for six months or less.
Substance-induced anxiety disorder – generally resolves when the substance is discontinued or when withdrawal from the substance is over.
If you believe that your are experiencing Anxiety I would recommend seeking out help such as through psychotherapy at the earliest to avoid the symptoms increasing and also towards permanent recovery.