Panic Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety

The most common types of anxiety disorders are explained below

Man explaining anxiety

Below are three of the most common forms of anxiety: social anxiety, panic disorder and general anxiety disorder. These are just TITLES and no matter which form you may suffer from, don’t be discouraged, you can recover from then all.

Panic Disorder

a woman dealing with panic and fear

People who have a panic disorder can experience severe attacks of fear for no real reason. Sufferers say they feel like they are having a heart attack and have a sense that they are in real danger and that everything is closing in. The need to run away or escape from the situation they are in can be very powerful.

Symptoms can include a racing heart, sweating, trembling, feelings of dread, a fear of dying, fear of losing control and feelings of unreality.

Suffering from a panic disorder can often lead to people being afraid of the places or situations that trigger this fear response which in turn can cause them to start to avoid these places, thinking these are the real cause of their fear. For some, it can get so bad that it can lead to a fear of leaving home altogether, as this is the only place in which they feel safe.

This behaviour can then lead to them constantly cancelling on people and making excuses not to go out, and if they do venture out, they want to be able to know that they have a route to a quick exit if needed.  As you can see, dealing with a panic disorder can affect a person’s life in a big way and lead to a lot of avoidance behaviours.

I have met and spoken to many people whose lives were dominated by panic attacks, but through understanding, they have now fully recovered. It is sometimes not easy to break a cycle but trust me with patience, understanding and a little courage you can recover. Click here for more help and read my story of how I overcame Panic attacks

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Stressed man with anxiety

GAD usually occurs through excessive worry and stress over a long period without a break. The initial concern that created the constant feelings of anxiety may have focused on external issues such as health, family, marriage, money, career or any of the other concerns the modern world can present us with.

Generalised anxiety does not usually cause people to avoid situations to the extent that people who have a panic disorder do. The real problem occurs when anxiety and all its symptoms become the new problem to worry and obsess about and so they may find themselves in a constant loop.

It’s also the constant thinking and dwelling on oneself day in and day out, and the inability to shut the mind off that so undermines the person, emotionally drains them and takes away their confidence.

The sufferer can eventually start to feel so utterly lost and struggle to find a way out of their condition, the harder they try, then the deeper they seem to sink. They may spend all day in their head trying to find a solution to the way they are feeling. They may also feel like they have no energy become irritable and feel mentally and physically exhausted.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Social anxiety

(SAD) Social anxiety is a fear of interacting with other people and can be very debilitating to those who suffer from it.

The condition is mainly created through a fear of what other people may think; a fear of being judged. Sufferers find it hard to cope in social situations and can become easily embarrassed, going beyond just shyness. They have little confidence and can be highly sensitive to what others think about them.

The physical symptoms can include a racing heart, faintness, blushing, nausea, mind freeze and excessive sweating.

This form of anxiety may lead to social isolation and avoidance behaviour and can really affect a person’s confidence. It can also lead to trouble with personal relationships and friendships.

Social anxiety can be very upsetting and rule a lot of people’s lives to the point where they hardly socialise. Even a simple task like speaking on the phone can be difficult.

Social anxiety can be tough to live with, but it is treatable with the right help and guidance. It was one of the major problems I went through, but I was finally able to work my way through it and regain my confidence.

Visit here for more help with social anxiety.

If you are reading this page on behalf of someone you know who suffers from anxiety, here you can find out more about supporting a partner or family member with anxiety.