Anxiety is a bothersome mental health condition that should people should take more note of and effectively deal with. There are several types of anxiety disorders, each varying slightly from the other, but equally capable of harming your mental health.
What they all have in common is that they greatly harm your mental health, leaving only sadness, fear, and shame in its wake. Reports have shown that about 45% of people who suffer from this disorder suffer from depression, with many scientists believing that anxiety occurs before it.
In this article, I am going to talk about all the different types of anxiety disorders, so you would get enlightened before it consumes you (read this in T’challa’s voice). Many of these types would be treated in more detail in later posts, but this is to give you a general idea on what they are.
Types of Anxiety
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: this is a type of anxiety disorder which is the most “general”, hence, the name. People who feel this feel a sense of fear and worries towards everything they come across.
This naturally means that people who have this have this long-lasting feeling of worry that does not seem to go away. It is also the most common anxiety disorder in the world, and people who have this have a hard time tracing what triggers or causes their anxiety.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: People who have this are mostly seen as “shy” or “introverts”. Don’t get me wrong, some people are naturally introverts, and that’s fine. What isn’t is how many others suffer from SAD, and are seen as shy to the public.
If you have this, you would most likely intensely fear social interactions so much that becomes a problem. You would feel a sense of embarrassment when you want to try to make a social contribution. You would also try to avoid social situations altogether as much as you can, and also fear intimacy to a large extent.
- Specific Phobia: This is when someone irrationally fears an object or situation that is seen as normal to many others. It could be a dog, cat, food, elevator, and so on. The point is, it is a fear of animate of inanimate objects. Unlike other anxiety disorders, it is relative easier to manage because the source of anxiety is known.
- Panic Disorder: This is when you feel a sudden and overwhelming feeling of terror and danger for little to no reason. This may happen when you go through too much stress, but most times, it is hard for professionals to decipher exactly what is wrong.
It is also the most misdiagnosed anxiety disorder because most doctors and even some therapists mistake it for a physical life-threatening illness. When you go through a panic attack, it may go for on for a few minutes, to a few hours, or in rare cases, even up to a day!
- Selective Mutism: this mostly happens to children, and it is when you cannot speak or communicate in any other way in certain situations or places. This could be school, church, parties, or even the home. It often does not matter if the person has excellent communication skills. When they have this form of anxiety, it is very hard to break out of. Think Rajesh from the big bang theory and his inability to speak when he is around women.
- Agoraphobia: This is when a person fears places where escape is uncertain. People with this form of anxiety would react with irrational fear or worry when faced with situations they cannot handle or escape from, just like using elevators, or even leaving their homes. It is less common than the other forms of anxiety disorder, but is just as crippling as the others.
How to Effectively Manage Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are one of the hardest mental health conditions to manage. Like I mentioned earlier, most mental health conditions can’t be cured. One of the largest for this is because as you already know, they are psychological. Even though they are also diagnosed through physical signs, they almost always involve altered brain chemistry.
The good news is, just like many other mental health conditions, they can be suppressed. Here are some of the things you can do to control this disorder.
What To Do
- Therapy: Therapy is presently the best way to help yourself if you suffer from anxiety. You don’t have to be scared of not being taken seriously. These mental health professionals are here to actively listen to you, and help you out.
- Get support from friends and family: Even though therapy helps, you would also feel more secure if you communicate with, are supported by your loved ones, and your closest friends. No one suffering from anxiety deserves to go through it alone. You should contact trusted family members and friends that would understand, and support you no matter what.
Additionally, you need support groups consisting of people who have experienced similar things like you. The group should also consist of one or more counsellors who understand your struggle, and can guide you on how to effectively suppress your anxiety.
- Medication: some anxiety disorders need medication. You would need to get and start taking medication depending on what types of anxiety disorder you have, and how severe it is. High-functioning anxiety is easier to manage than low-functioning one. With the high-functioning one, you are still able to perform most tasks, even if you have that ongoing struggle in your head.
People with low-functioning anxiety do not have it as easy. Their anxieties hinder them from functioning normally, making them lose jobs, relationships, and all that is important to them. Also, there are people that have more than one anxiety disorder.
People with high-functioning anxiety can manage through therapy and support from family and friends. However, people with low-functioning anxiety, as well as people with more than one anxiety disorder, need to mix medication with therapy and support.
There are various medication that has proven to help, such as benzodiaphenes, busiprone, antidepressants, SSRI’s, and so on. When you get therapy, and are diagnosed, your therapist and doctor would decide on what type of medication you can go on. Please, do not overdose on the drug because you feel better. Stick to what the doctor prescribed for your own good.
Furthermore, do not stop getting treatment because you feel better. Don’t forget that this disorder isn’t treatable, only manageable. When you skip regular visits to the therapists and taking medication, you are only making it worse for yourself.
Care for Your Anxiety
Caring for your mental health cannot be stressed enough. It is pretty tough to handle, but when you go through this article and start adhering to the solutions, I promise you that you will begin to see a lot of progress in the way you handle it.