Types and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Types and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder include nightmares, flashbacks, having frightening thoughts, avoiding anything that reminds the person of the traumatic event, excessive worry, feeling guilty, depression, difficulty remembering the traumatic event, feeling numb emotionally, feeling very tense, having outbursts, being easily startled, and/or not sleeping well.

It is important to be able to recognize symptoms of anxiety disorders, because after a traumatic event most people will have these symptoms. For some people the symptoms will go away after a few weeks while others could suffer for months or years.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include irritability, fatigue, constant worrying about small or large problems that borders on obsession, trouble sleeping, feeling on edge, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, being easily startled, trouble concentrating, muscle tension, diarrhea, nausea, and/or sweating.

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Symptoms of social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) include fear of being around people you don’t know, fear of being judged, worrying about getting embarrassed, fear that others will notice you are anxious, not speaking to people due to a fear that you will become embarrassed or the person will judge you, avoiding situations where you would be the center of attention, trouble making eye contact, a shaky voice, blushing, sweating excessively, trembling, stomach upset, trouble talking, clammy palms, difficulty being assertive, poor social skills, extra sensitive to criticism, negative self-talk, and/or a low self-esteem.

Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia

There are two different types of panic disorders: one with agoraphobia and one without. However, they both have the same symptoms, which include dizziness, fatigue, trouble swallowing, shortness of breath, sweating, shaking, chest pain, stomach upset, chills, hot flashes, sense of dying, fast heart beat, and/or headache.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) include a need to have things in order, frightening impulses, thoughts or images that you have hurt someone, stress when things are not in order, frequent hand washing, hair pulling, checking things over and over and making things face the same way.


Recognizing the symptoms of anxiety disorders may not necessarily be difficult, but pinpointing which anxiety disorder you may be suffering from can be, as some of the symptoms overlap or could be symptomatic of something else - i.e. we all experience headaches and stomach upsets from time to time.

All of these anxiety disorders are real medical conditions that are highly treatable with counseling, therapy and sometimes medication. If you believe you have one of these anxiety disorders you should make an appointment with your physician who can point you in the right direction for treatment.

NB: The content of this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.


HELPGUIDE.org: Anxiety Attacks and Disorders

National Institute of Mental Health: What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Mayo Clinic: Generalized anxiety disorder

Mayo Clinic: Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)

Mayo Clinic: Panic attacks and panic disorder

Mayo Clinic: Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

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