There are many ways in which a person can experience anxiety, and you may or may not be diagnosed with a specific anxiety disorder. Below are some of the more common types of anxiety:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) – this is where a person experiences regular or uncontrollable worries about many different things in their everyday life. Due to the many ways this type of anxiety can be experienced, it can often be a very broad diagnosis, meaning that one person’s experience can be very different from somebody else with the same diagnosis.
- Social anxiety (social phobia) – this is where a person experiences extreme fear or anxiety triggered by social situations (such as parties, workplaces, or everyday situations where they have to talk to another person). Social anxiety disorder can also be referred to as social phobia.
- Panic disorder – this is where a person has frequent panic attacks without a clear cause or trigger. A person who experiences panic disorder can often feel constantly worried about having a panic attack, that this itself can cause a panic attack.
- Phobias – a phobia is an extreme fear or anxiety caused by a particular situation (such as going outside), specific people or a particular object (such as spiders or heights).
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – if a person experiences something traumatic in their life, it can often lead to anxiety related to the person experiencing flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic event/s.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) – many people with OCD develop repetitive thoughts, behaviours or urges known as compulsions. This could be experienced as having to check the door is locked a certain number of times before leaving the house or becoming fixated (obsessed) with a thought or idea.
- Health anxiety – this is where a person experiences intense fear and worry about their health. This might include researching symptoms extensively or checking to see if you have them. People with health anxiety often request medical tests even if they are not indicated. This diagnosis is often related to OCD.
- Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) – people with a diagnosis of BDD often experience obsessions and compulsions relating to their physical appearance.
- Perinatal anxiety or perinatal OCD – this is where a woman develops anxiety during her pregnancy or within the first year of giving birth.