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What Are the Most Common Types of Anxiety?

Millions of people experience anxiety symptoms every day, but they often subside on their own. However, for others, the fear, sleeping problems, avoidance, and other symptoms linger indefinitely and often worsen over time. This could mean you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, but, fortunately, the symptoms are treatable with certain medicine.

Know the Symptoms

General anxiety, including more serious anxiety disorders, has many symptoms, including:

  • You have a hard time controlling thoughts and beliefs, which causes restlessness and tension on top of inhibiting daily life. They’re long-lasting and can worsen over time.
  • You may have physical symptoms like a pounding or fast heartbeat, mysterious aches and pains, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.
  • You experience a range of behavioral changes.

Consuming certain substances, caffeine, and some medications can worsen symptoms.

Possible Causes

Some people have anxiety due to stress, while others experience it due to an underlying medical problem:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid difficulties, like hyperthyroidism
  • A respiratory disorder, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma
  • The misuse of drugs or experience of withdrawal
  • Withdrawal from other sources, like alcohol, anti-anxiety medicine, or other kinds of medication 
  • Chronic pain or irritable bowel syndrome


What Are the Most Common Types of Anxiety?

Anxiety affects more than 25 million people in the U.S. There are five common types to be aware of:

  • You may have a type of anxiety called generalized anxiety disorder. This is where you feel extreme anxiety or concern nearly every day for six consecutive months. You are restless, easily fatigued, or on edge. You can also have problems with concentration, irritability, muscle tension, and trouble sleeping.
  • If you experience panic attacks, you likely have a panic disorder. These are unexpected feelings of terror even when there’s no legitimate danger. You could have physical symptoms like a fast heartbeat, chest or stomach discomfort, and breathing problems. Some people may also experience weakness, dizziness, perspiration, chills, or numbness in their hands. Panic disorder happens more in women than men.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This condition is where you have recurrent and disturbing obsessions or compulsions. You could be driven by an overwhelming desire to perform certain behaviors repeatedly. Common obsessions include the preoccupation with dirt or germs, fear of getting injured, or the need to arrange items in specific ways. If you have OCD, you often fixate on different obsessions and be preoccupied with thoughts and habits that hinder your daily life. For example, if you’re worried that your house could be burglarized, you might add multiple locks to the door and be afraid to leave your home. OCD is thought to be hereditary, being passed down from parents to children.
  • Different phobias. Anxiety could manifest as a phobia, a deep fear of or loathing particular objects or situations. The fear is far greater than any actual danger triggered by the object or situation. People with phobias can have irrational concerns and steer clear of the object or situation. A phobia is characterized by immediate anxiety when you meet whatever you fear – such as a place, object, or person. The most common phobias are fear of animals, flying, heights, and injections.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition can occur if you’ve survived, seen, or otherwise experienced a traumatic event. You could have experienced war, survived a natural disaster, endured a life-threatening accident, or experienced sexual or physical abuse. PTSD can trigger flashbacks to the trauma, sleep troubles or nightmares, feelings of loneliness or isolation, or angry outbursts. It’s not uncommon to feel guilty, worried, or sad.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you think you have anxiety, the first step is to visit your healthcare provider to ensure there isn’t a physical problem triggering the symptoms. You can expect to undergo certain tests. If there isn’t a medical reason for your anxiety, you may be referred to a mental health professional for a psychiatric assessment. A mental healthcare specialist may ask about your thoughts, feelings, behavior, and personal and family history of mental illness as triggers. If an anxiety disorder is diagnosed, your doctor could recommend different treatments, including psychotherapy, self-help, lifestyle changes, certain medicine, or ketamine therapy.

Final Thoughts

If you suffer from anxiety, you’re not alone. But problems like a constant fear, anger, sleep problems, avoidance, obsessions, and compulsions shouldn’t be ignored. Anxiety can spiral out of control, but before that happens, see your healthcare provider for help and ask whether ketamine therapy is right for your condition.

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