14 Types of Anxiety
There are a range of warning
signs that a person may be in serious psychological trouble.
Some examples include:
distress in the marriage or family interactions
abuse ● pervading loneliness
or depression that is interfering with work, or relationships
and self-esteem is affected
● having sexual problems
● unexplained physical problems
● an inability to set or attain goals.
If in doubt, consult a professional of your choice, or
me about your concerns and I will help you decide if
Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling is more appropriate to help you deal with your
Imagine a continuum or line. One end is labeled "Optimal Mental
Health"; the other end is labeled "Total Dysfunction." The
area somewhere between the two extremes is where most of us fall. The exact dividing line is often subjective and somewhat blurry.
Simple life coaching is not
generally appropriate for the list of disorders which follow below when
they appear on the "Total Dysfunction" end of the continuum;
psychotherapy with a trained
and credentialed professional is recommended.
One possible exception to this rule is if the complaint can be
resolved with Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling strategies, in which case, the issue
may not have been a clinically severe disorder after all.
An example might be of a person who has a fear of public
speaking. On the one hand, their fear may be so disabling as to be
diagnosed as "Social Phobia."
Alternately, the fear may simply be lots of nervousness. In this
event, Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling may help you become more comfortable and confident when in
front of an audience.
Winston Churchill had a lisp and a stutter. He was so nervous
before giving a speech that he sometimes fainted. Yet he was one of
history's greatest speakers.
The following 14 conditions listed below are defined as clinically diagnosable
disorders according to the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV.
● Panic Attack
Disorder Without Agoraphobia
● Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia
● Agoraphobia Without History of Panic Disorder
● Specific Phobia
● Social Phobia
● Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
● Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
● Acute Stress Disorder
● Generalized Anxiety Disorder
● Anxiety Disorder Due to a General Medical Condition
● Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder
● Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Because Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia occur as part of several of
the following disorders, characteristics for Panic Attack and for
Agoraphobia are listed separately at the beginning.
Panic Attack occurs
during a distinct period where there is the sudden onset of intense
fearfulness, or terror, often associated with feelings of
During these attacks, symptoms such as shortness of
breath, rapidly beating heart, chest pain or discomfort, choking or smothering
sensations, and fear of "going crazy" or losing control are
A Panic or Anxiety Disorder that is due to the direct physiological
effects of a substance such as excessive caffeine, prescription or
over-the-counter medications, substance abuse, or a physical condition
such as heart problems, tumors, hyperthyroidism, or epilepsy is not
generally a psychologically diagnosable condition.
If a physiological condition is the cause of panic or anxiety, a
consultation with your physician is strongly urged. Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling may then
be helpful to comply with your physician's recommendations.
"What Causes Anxiety?" for more
information on panic and anxiety.
is anxiety about, or avoidance of, places or
situations from which escape
might be difficult (or embarrassing) or in which help may not be available
in the event of having a panic attack or panic-like symptoms.
Included is anxiety when outside the home or being home alone; being
in a crowd of people; traveling in an automobile, bus, or airplane; or
being on a bridge or in an elevator. These types of situations are
either avoided or endured with intense distress or require the presence of
Panic Disorder Without
by recurrent unexpected panic
attacks about which there is persistent concern. Panic Disorder Without
Agoraphobia is featured by both recurrent unexpected Panic Attacks and
Agoraphobia. It can occur "out of the blue; it can happen when
a situation or place sets it off.
For example, some experiences include excessive apprehension about
separation from a loved one, anticipation of a catastrophic outcome from a
mild physical symptom or medication side effect, a fear of having an
undetected life-threatening illness, and so on.
Panic Disorder With
has the characteristics of both
recurrent and unexpected Panic
Attacks and Agoraphobia. (See discussion above for more details.)
Agoraphobia Without History
of Panic Disorder
is distinguished by the presence of
agoraphobia and panic-like symptoms without a history of unexpected panic
For example, an individual may be afraid to leave home because of a
fear of becoming dizzy, fainting, and then being left helpless on the
(formerly Simple Phobia) is indicated by
the presence of clinically significant anxiety provoked by
exposure to a specific feared object or situation, often leading to
For example, an individual may fear air travel because of a concern
about crashing, may fear dogs because they might bite, may fear driving
because of concerns about being hit by other vehicles on the road.
individuals may be afraid of blood, injury, heights, spiders, loud noises,
closed-in situations that may cause the person to lose control and start
(formerly Social Anxiety Disorder) is
determined by the existence of clinically significant anxiety provoked by
exposure to certain types of social or performance situations, often
leading to avoidance behavior.
Common associated features of Social Phobia include hypersensitivity to
criticism, negative evaluation or rejection; difficulty being assertive;
and low self-esteem or feelings of inferiority.
The individual may
have an intense fear of public speaking; they may avoid eating, drinking, or
writing in public because of a fear of being embarrassed by having others
see their hands shake.
is evidenced by obsessions which cause marked anxiety
or distress and/or by compulsions which serve to relieve anxiety.
persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses, or
images that are experienced as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause
marked anxiety or distress.
Some common obsessions are repeated
thoughts about contamination, repeated doubts such as worry about having
left a door unlocked, or a need to have things in a particular order.
repetitive behaviors such as hand
washing, ordering, checking or mental acts such as praying, counting, or
repeating words silently.
is defined by the re-experiencing of an extremely
traumatic, shocking and upsetting event accompanied by symptoms of
increased arousal and by avoidance of stimuli or triggered responses
associated with the trauma.
Some examples of traumatic events include military combat, violent
personal assault, sexual assault, physical attack, robbery, mugging, being
kidnapped, being taken hostage, terrorist attack, torture, incarceration
as a prisoner of war or in a concentration camp, natural or manmade
disasters, severe automobile accidents, or being diagnosed with a
life-threatening illness. This is by no means a complete list of possibilities.
Acute Stress Disorder
is recognized by symptoms similar to those of Post-traumatic Stress
Disorder that occur immediately in the aftermath of an extremely traumatic
Symptoms of despair and
hopelessness may be experienced; inappropriate guilt may exist.
Individuals with this disorder
are at increased risk for the development of Post-traumatic Stress
is identified by at least six months of persistent and
excessive anxiety and worry.
For example, an individual may feel distress and constant worry, have
difficulty controlling the worry, or experience related impairment in
social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder often worry about everyday, routine life
circumstances such as possible job responsibilities, finances, the health
of family members, misfortune to their children, or minor matters such as
household chores, car repairs, or being late for appointments.
Anxiety Disorder Due to a
General Medical Condition
is distinguished by prominent
symptoms of anxiety that are judged to be a direct physiological
consequence of a general medical condition.
A variety of general medical
conditions may cause anxiety symptoms including endocrine conditions,
respiratory conditions, metabolic conditions, and neurological
is determined by prominent symptoms of anxiety that
are judged to be a direct physiological consequence of a drug of abuse, a
medication, or toxin exposure.
Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorders arise only in association with
intoxication or withdrawal states.
Anxiety Disorder Not
is included for labeling disorders with
prominent anxiety or phobic avoidance that do not meet criteria for any of
the specific Anxiety Disorders defined.
This is often a situation in which there is an Anxiety Disorder
present; however, there is an inability to determine whether it is
primary, due to a general medical condition, or substance induced.
above examples are not intended to cover all the criteria for
analysis, assessment and evaluation of an individual with complaints of
distress and anxiety.
They are simply for your review as an introduction
to this field. To receive a psychologically or psychiatrically appropriate
diagnosis, please contact a qualified professional.
DID YOU KNOW...
85% of anxiety sufferers also struggle with depression?
Warning Signs of Depression
Causes of Anxiety
Concerns About Antidepressants and Prozac
Please use your browser back button
to return to this site from the following links.