What is an Anxiety Disorder: Types of Disorders

What is an Anxiety Disorder? An “anxiety disorder” is an umbrella term that refers to a number of different mental health conditions. While different anxiety disorders present in different ways, they are all characterized by a constant and/or overwhelming feeling of anxiety in situations that most people wouldn’t consider threatening.

Anxiety is a perfectly natural response to dangerous or threatening situations, and in many cases, it can actually be beneficial. For example, normal anxiety can help you stay focused, motivate you to work harder and keep you alert. But the excessive anxiety found in anxiety disorders becomes disabling, interfering with your daily life and relationships.

Understanding what is an anxiety disorder is knowing that an anxiety disorder doesn’t look the same for every sufferer. While some people are anxious when it comes to social situations, others have very specific phobias, such as a fear of flying or snakes. Still, others suffer severe panic attacks or have one of the most severe of anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Social Anxiety Disorder - Excessive worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Constant and excessive worry for no apparent reason.

Panic Disorder - Unexpected and repeated panic attacks, sometimes accompanied by agoraphobia.


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder - Obsessive and unwanted thoughts, leading to rituals that are performed compulsively in an attempt to control unwanted thoughts.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - Anxiety that develops in response to a traumatic event, often manifesting as flashbacks, upsetting memories, and feelings of numbness.

Phobias - Extreme fear of a specific object or situation that is out of proportion to the actual threat.

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