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Anxiety disorders are real and serious.
Worry and fear are constant and overwhelming. People dealing with depression often suffer from anxiety disorders. The reverse is also true. Understanding anxiety disorders can help you deal with depression.
Here are four types of anxiety disorders.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). GAD is when you worry for no apparent reason. You expect the worst no matter what the situation or how good your day is going. It’s that impending sense of doom over the horizon. Even getting out of bed and thinking about your day creates anxiety. You can’t stop worrying, even though you know everything is okay. Anxiety is out of control. When anxiety is mild, you can function as long as you avoid situations that trigger anxiety. But if anxiety gets triggered, its game over. When GAD is severe, it’s almost impossible to function normally.
- Panic Disorder. Also called panic attacks. Panic attacks happen randomly. They can even occur while you’re sleeping. Pretty soon you’re locked in a vicious cycle. You start worrying about when the next panic attack will happen, which adds to your overall anxiety, which then triggers a panic attack. Panic disorder often comes with depression. The good news is panic disorders are easily treated. You can learn to control it or in some cases it can even disappear.
- Social Anxiety Disorder. This is an extreme fear of being judged by others socially. It’s not the same as being shy which people often mistake social anxiety disorder for. A person with social anxiety disorder knows the fear is unreasonable or too much, but can’t control the level of fear that’s felt. You feel powerless, alone, and even ashamed because you fear you will humiliate or embarrass yourself in public. Cognitive therapy can treat social anxiety disorder.
- Specific Phobias. PTSD is sometimes ranked in with specific phobias. Phobias can start in childhood or can come about suddenly. It’s caused by a bad or traumatic experience. You know your fear is irrational but you can’t control it and you become extremely anxious. Specific phobias are treatable using Pavlovian conditioning and cognitive therapy. The rate of cure once treatment begins is almost 100%.