Types of anxiety and their treatment

Anxiety is a central part of every person’s life because everyone experiences it. Whether it’s nerves before a big date, pacing around the office before a major meeting, or having a panic attack when around crowds of people, we’re all touched by anxiety, but some of us far more than others.

Chiefly speaking, there are four major types of anxiety:

· Panic Disorder: People experience anxiety in acute-like attacks from out of nowhere and it can feel like you are having a heart attack.

· Social Phobia: Some people do not handle being in crowds or even around other people well, often feeling judged and extremely self-conscious.

· Particular Phobias: Be it fear of heights or fear of spiders, these are often severe fears brought on by particular and unique triggers.

· Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Arguably the least understood type of anxiety GAD is an often-constant, but not panic-inducing state of extreme worry that is often unattached to any direct cause.

Of course, while anxiety can have a direct cause in a general sense, like getting nervous before performing on stage, the underlying reason for why some people have constant and agonizing anxiety is unknown, but scientists tend to look at both biological and behavioral causes and their effects on anxiety. One prominent theory looks at the role of the brain and any problems it may have in regulating fear or other emotions related to anxiety.

In addition, some researchers believe that anxiety can be genetically passed down between a parent and a child, much like the genetic danger children of parents with cancer or heart disease are at. Of course, scientists also look to environmental factors and experiencing a traumatic event can bring forth a latent predilection towards anxiety in certain people.

So how does one diagnose and help to manage anxiety? As there are no direct lab tests for determining anxiety or any other psychological condition like depressions, a doctor may seek to find physiological stressors or medical illness. If none are found, then it’s most advisable that you visit the office of a psychologist and/or psychiatrist.

Do note that while psychologists typically provide talking therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy, they do not prescribe medication unless they are specialists licensed to do so. If medication is also needed on top of therapy, than you will want to see a psychiatrist as well. Both doctors will conduct a series of questions and gauge their assessment on the patient’s responses and prescribe a regime of medication and psychotherapy.

While there is still so little known about what anxiety is as a neurological phenomenon and why some people experience it far worst than others, it’s something that we’ll only continue to better understand, and that truly is so much of the battle.