Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Sometimes people get nervous or uncomfortable.
But if it happens intensely and often, you could have an anxiety disorder. Sometimes an anxiety disorder can express itself as worry, rumination, or big and small issues. Other times, it can be focused on a specific fear or separation from loved ones.
About 40 million American adults have one or more types of anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). There are several different types, and some are more common than others.
Here are some of the most common types of anxiety disorder:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent feelings of stress or anxiousness that can interfere with daily life over the course of months and years.
It can cause restlessness, irritability, trouble concentrating, and difficulty controlling worries. Physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, and trouble sleeping can also occur and can be brought on by worries about everyday life.
Only about 43 percent of people with this condition are getting treatment.
Social Anxiety Disorder: Intense fear about social situations is called social anxiety disorder. It can cause people to avoid taking part in events or social gatherings. It can be driven by intense irrational worries of humiliation.
It can lead to avoidance, blushing, sweating, pounding heart, stomach aches, difficulty making eye contact, rigid body posture, or feelings of self-consciousness.
Separation Anxiety Disorder: Comes from an intense fear of being separated from those you love or worrying that they will be harmed. Symptoms can include nightmares.
Panic Disorder: Panic disorders can include panic attacks, but not everybody who has a panic attack has a panic disorder. Symptoms can include a racing or pounding heart, chest pain, trembling, a feeling of impending doom, tingling, or sweating.
Some may experience a sensation that they are dying from shortness of breath or choking.
These feelings can happen multiple times during the day or only a few times per year.
Phobias: Phobias are an intense fear of things that are far out of proportion with their actual danger. Some common phobias include flying, needles, insects, animals, or blood. They can lead people to avoid certain situations.
It is worth talking to a professional about treatment if you feel you are experiencing a disorder instead of occasional anxiety or discomfort.
A variety of treatment methods exist, including a form of talk therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This form can help you develop new ways of thinking about things.