When overwhelming feelings of panic and worry interrupt our ability to get things done and enjoy our lives—it can indicate we may have an anxiety disorder. The primary types of anxiety disorders are:
Separation anxiety disorder. This is the excessive fear of being apart from a person. The symptoms of separation anxiety tend to first appear in childhood, typically when a child is separated from a parent.
Specific phobia. Previously called simple phobia, specific phobia refers to an irrational fear caused by a specific object or person that, in reality, causes little to no actual threat.
Social anxiety disorder. Also called social phobia, social anxiety disorder is an overwhelming fear of being judged by others, combined with feeling extremely uncomfortable in interacting in a social setting.
Panic disorder. This type of anxiety is defined by panic attacks or panic-like symptoms that negatively impact day-to-day life. Symptoms of a panic attack can include rapid breathing, chest discomfort, nausea, vomiting, sweating, overwhelming feelings of doom, and so on. See all the signs and symptoms of a panic attack.
Agoraphobia. Severe fear of being in specific situations for which escape would be difficult in the event of a panic attack.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). When a person worries excessively about a variety of topics, such as grades in school, job performance, money problems, current events, natural disasters such as an earthquake or hurricane, relationships with others, and so on.
To help determine if you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, take our 2-Minute Online Anxiety Assessment.
If you suspect you might be living with an anxiety disorder, be sure to talk with your primary care physician and/or a licensed mental health counselor about your concerns.
The Monarch Directory by SimplePractice can help you find a licensed mental health professional near you who specializes in anxiety.
Talk therapy or psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),can help us manage our anxiety by learning coping strategies and diving into what needs to change in the present to help us cope better.
CBT helps us focus on our thought processes and behaviors.
When we understand what is driving our anxiety, we're in a better place to cope with anxiety in a healthy way.
While it may be possible for our anxiety to be successfully treated with only medication or only therapy, in most cases, a combination of both treatments is recommended.