7 Types of Anxiety Disorders That Threaten Productivity
Yesterday I shared some anxiety I was experiencing during my 30 day Self Care Plan over on Facebook. I was having a medical test run to rule out the existence of a problem. The process precipitated a bout of both anxiety and stress. While undergoing the test, I focused on the faceless people forced to cope with their anxiety disorder alone rather than on Angelina Jolie’s anxiety before making her decision to opt for a radical mastectomy. And I focused on Mandela and prayed for him rather than myself because I was frightened and worried.
It made me realize that anxiety has many faces. As an active working Boomer, I have become less concerned about some things and more about others. Most of what concerns me now in life are the things I can do something about. But sometimes the road to realizing which ones these are takes a moment. Experiencing some sort of anxiety disorder on this journey is part of being human.
The word anxiety disorder reaches far beyond what many people would typically think. It ís common to feel anxious about some things in life whether it is positive or negative. But there are many types of anxiety disorder, and many varying degrees.. If you are experiencing anxiety, it helps to identify the type so that you can find the address it.
Here are 6 types to think about if you think you may be experiencing anxiety.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Commonly called GAD, this type of anxiety involves a sense of things being out of proportion. You feel things are ‘bigger’ than they are. Your worry is excessive and uncontrollable. Things that most people consider to be a part of everyday living are much more drastic and overwhelming for someone with GAD.
2. Panic Attacks
This type of anxiety typically comes on suddenly. The panic attack may last for minutes or hours. A panic attack may be characterized as a period of intense fear or apprehension. It may feel like a heart attack or a nervous breakdown. There can be a feeling of being trapped and wanting to escape. If panic attacks occur on a regular basis, they are then deemed to be a symptom of a panic disorder.
When we rehash an unpleasant outcome of a particular event, that is what we call worrying. It is based upon mental thoughts and images about what might happen. This can be both real and imagined events. Technically, a little amount of worry is common and even helpful. Worry becomes a anxiety disorder when it dominates our thoughts or prevents us from living a normal life, including taking normal risks.
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This type of anxiety disorder became well known as a result of the increased number of military personnel put in circumstances that cause psychological trauma. An event that puts someone in harm’s way, and/or traumatizes a person ís mental or emotional well-being, could impair the mind’s ability to cope with even normal situations. Think of the brain as being on high-alert at all times. Typical symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, anger, depression, and sleep disorders.
5. Social Anxiety / Social Phobia
Socializing may be fun for most, but for someone with social anxiety or a social phobia, the thought of being with others in terrifying. A heightened sense of worry about what others will think of them results in fear and low self-esteem. This type of anxiety is a downward spiral ñ isolation creates low self-esteem and doubt, and low self-esteem and doubt creates isolation, and on and on.
This is probably one of the most misunderstood anxiety disorder. Depression is not something we typically see as being anxiety-related. Seen often as simply a period of time when we feel “in the dumps,” depression is in fact a time when our mind and body have suppressed feelings and emotions. It is what happens during these times that can cause our anxiety to rise. During times of depression, we can have negative thoughts and feel fear toward things that may not have bothered us before. When these thoughts and fears start to escalate, our anxiety begins to climb.
With this type of anxiety disorder, a person has only one focus: their health. The slightest physical symptom can manifest itself in the hypochondriac’s mind to be a major concern. A small bump on the leg can be no less than a cancerous tumor. Blurred vision is nothing short of total blindness. This type of anxiety, left untreated, can consume a person’s life to the point of disability, even to the extent of becoming a self-fulfilled prophecy.
I had not thought about the different types of anxiety before writing this. Using these seven types of anxiety disorders as a guide, you could say my week may have been tinged with worry and a splash of hypochondria. And no, I would not have ever described myself with either term. But when these things come and go in life, it helps to be able to identify what is going on. Boomer Wizdom has helped me to generally concern myself with the things I CAN do something about and to seek ways to release the rest. Otherwise I woud be CRAY, CRAY.
If you think you or someone you know is struggling with one or more of these categories, I encourage you and then you should encourage them to talk to someone or to consult your physician. Don’t waste time wallowing in your situation if you can avoid it.
When you have these rough patches, how do you handle it.