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Understanding the Six Most Common Anxiety Disorders

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

Man receiving therapy for anxiety disorder
Six Most Common Anxiety Disorders

Understanding Anxiety Disorders:

1. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a form of chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry, and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

2. Panic Disorder: This condition will cause you to feel terror that strikes suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. Symptoms include sweating, chest pain, palpitations, unusually strong or irregular heartbeats and sometimes a feeling of choking.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) Is characterised by overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others, or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or lead to ridicule. Physical symptoms can include blushing, sweating, trembling, pounding or racing heart, stomach aches.

4. Phobia related Disorders involve intense fear of a specific object or situation, such as heights or flying. The fear is out of proportion to the actual danger involved and can cause the person to avoid common, everyday situations.

5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) People with OCD are plagued by constant thoughts or fears that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions.

6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Understanding the anxiety disorder PTSD will enable you to move past this challenging condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event and can be emotionally numb.

Understanding anxiety disorders signs and symptoms

  1. Feeling on edge, discomfort in the belly, tightness in the chest, worry, headaches.

  2. Having an increased or irregular heartbeat (palpitations).

  3. Blurred Vision: When you are feeling stressed, the body releases adrenalin. This causes your pupils to dilate.

  4. Ringing in the ears.

  5. Brain Fog

  6. Dizziness and feeling faint. Changes in blood flow in the ears and hyperventilation can both cause dizziness. However fainting is unlikely for most people because blood pressure increases during a panic attack and fainting occurs due to a drop in blood pressure.

  7. Breathing difficulties: A surge of adrenalin causes fast and shallow breathing, typically from the thorax instead of the lower abdomen. This hyperventilation causes the level of Carbon Dioxide in the blood to drop which causes a variety of other symptoms.

  8. Chest pain or tightness can be caused by muscle tension or the arteries and blood vessels constricting.

  9. Palpitations may be felt in your chest or throat. You get them simply because the heart is pumping much stronger to deal with the perceived danger that is not there.

  10. Skipped heart beats.

  11. Hand tremors occur when the flight or flight system primes the body for action.

  12. Nausea or butterflies

  13. Bowel changes is linked to irritable bowel syndrome which is diarrhoea, constipation or abdominal cramps or bloating.

  14. Overactive bladder is a symptom that is frequently associated with anxiety, serotonin and cortisol. One theory is that tense muscles squeeze the bladder which causes frequent urination. There is a type of social anxiety called Paruresis (shy bladder syndrome) which can cause the bladder to lock. .

  15. Aches and pains.


Remember, if you or someone you know is struggling with any of these disorders, it's important to seek professional help. Therapies for anxiety in the UK & America is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). It is recommended as a first line of treatment, although the exact percentage of individuals who find relief from anxiety through CBT in the UK may vary. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is considered among the most effective forms of treatment for anxiety disorders. Approximately 60% of individuals improve significantly with CBT Treatment. The therapies for anxiety that Suzi uses in her practice include: CBT Coaching, EFT Matrix Reimprinting, NLP, Hypnotherapy and EMDR. If you wish to set up a discovery session, get in touch with Suzi Tyler,


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