Types of Anxiety

  • 14-May-2019   
  • | Dr. Sundus Shafat Ahmad
  • | 265
  • Average Reading Time: 2 minutes and 33 seconds   

Before you book an appointment to see the doctor at the first sign of physical or emotional distress, you should know that anxiety comes in different forms and the symptoms need to present themselves for at least 6-months for a proper clinical diagnosis to be made. Statically speaking, about 15% of GCC Residents deal with various forms of anxiety disorders generally characterized by fear, worry, unprovoked panic, nervousness, and increased tension and due to hormonal fluctuations, women are twice as likely to suffer from them.

We all know the effects of anxiety on mental health, but did you know that it can also have a significant impact on the digestive system, even change the function of the cardiovascular, urinary, and respiratory systems? Although anxiety disorders are normal to a certain degree for the body to stay alert enough if the need arises, dealing with this psychological condition can be quite unpleasant, to say the least.

While most people are able to quickly “shake off” the feelings of dread and trepidation, others tend to be overcome by the intensity that comes with certain anxiety disorders to the point that they can’t function optimally. A normal to stress in its own is not a problem; however, it’s the disorders that can significantly impact quality of life for those who suffer from them.

In this case, such disorders are distinguishable from normal anxiety in terms of the length, frequency, the severity of symptoms, the situation that triggers it as well as the impact it has on the sufferer’s daily functioning and overall wellbeing. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), there are a number of different types of anxiety disorders, each characterized by specific triggers and symptoms, which can be mild to severe, affecting not only the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves, but also interfering with their functioning in daily activities.

Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

  1. Generalized anxiety disorder – It involves persistent and excessive worry and may be accompanied by physical symptoms, such as restlessness, feeling edgy, fatigued, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, problems sleeping, etc.
  2. Panic disorder – The main symptoms of this syndrome are recurrent panic attacks, palpitations, trembling, rapid heart rate, feeling dizzy, numbness and tingling, hot flashes, an overwhelming physical and psychological distress like chest pain, feeling of choking, abdominal pain, fear of dying, etc.
  3. Social anxiety disorder – A person with this disorder has an extreme fear of being in public or meeting new people because they have significant discomfort about being embarrassed, humiliated, or rejected in social interactions. The causes are thought to be a combination of factors such as genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental.
  4. Separation anxiety disorder – Commonly with children but can carry through adulthood; this is an excessive fear or persistent worry about being separated from people someone is attached to.

Conclusion - Stress management techniques like meditation, including learning about the specifics of a disorder can help cope with symptoms of anxiety disorders and make treatment more effective.


A Clinical Microbiologist by profession, Sundus is an avid reader, full time people person, always looking to make the most of life, the 'healthy' way.

Dr. Sundus Shafat Ahmad
MBBS (DU), MD (RGUHS)