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Types of Anxiety

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is probably the most common anxiety disorder, affecting 5-6% of the population. It is characterized by chronic worry about all sorts of life problems and circumstances. It differs from normal worrying through the intensity, frequency, and perceived lack of control over the worry thoughts. There might be a biological basis to GAD where some people are more likely to over-respond to life’s stresses; and studies of families show there is a chance of some genetic influence.

2. Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Social Anxiety Disorder, or Social Phobia, is an overwhelming fear of social situations and is the most common anxiety disorder. It is much more than shyness and can be intense fear over things such as shopping or speaking on the phone. It is normal to feel worry in some social situations, but a person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder will worry excessively before, during, and after the event. This type of phobia can have a disruptive or disabling impact on a person’s life, affecting their self-esteem, confidence, and ability to develop relationships with others.

3. Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder is where a person has recurring and regular panic attacks, often with no clear reason. For those who suffer from panic disorder, feelings of anxiety, stress, and panic can occur regularly and at any time. Panic attack symptoms are feelings of nausea, sweating, trembling, and palpitations. In the UK, panic disorder affects about two in 100 people, and it is roughly twice as common in women than it is in men.

4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by very stressful, frightening, or distressing events. Someone suffering from PTSD will often experience flashbacks and nightmares of the event, as well as feelings of isolation and guilt. They may have a problem sleeping and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and will have a significant impact on the person’s daily life.

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