Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. It is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. However, for some people, anxiety can become overwhelming and interfere with their daily lives. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults every year. In this article, we will explore the different types of anxiety disorders, their symptoms and available treatments.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health conditions characterized by excessive and persistent feelings of fear, worry and anxiety. These feelings can be triggered by specific situations or can occur without any apparent reason. Anxiety disorders can range from mild to severe and can significantly impact a person’s daily life.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there are several types of anxiety disorders, including:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a chronic condition characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry about everyday things. People with GAD may worry about their health, finances, work or relationships, even when there is no real reason for concern. This constant worry can cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by sudden and repeated episodes of intense fear and physical symptoms, known as panic attacks. These attacks can be triggered by specific situations or can occur unexpectedly. Symptoms of a panic attack may include a racing heart, shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by an intense fear of social situations. People with social anxiety disorder may feel self-conscious, embarrassed or judged in social settings, leading them to avoid social interactions altogether. This can significantly impact a person’s ability to form relationships and participate in daily activities.

Specific Phobias

Specific phobias are an intense and irrational fear of a specific object or situation. Common phobias include fear of heights, spiders or flying. People with specific phobias may go to great lengths to avoid their fear, which can significantly impact their daily life.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by recurring thoughts and behaviors that a person feels compelled to repeat. These thoughts and behaviors can be time-consuming and interfere with daily life. For example, a person with OCD may feel the need to constantly wash their hands or check that the stove is turned off.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. People with PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety related to the traumatic event. This can significantly impact a person’s daily life and relationships.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorder symptoms can range from person to person, for a myriad of reasons. Lifestyle, past experience, co-occurring disorders and even your personality can all have an effect on how your symptoms may manifest. However, there are some common symptoms that may indicate an anxiety disorder. These include:

  • Excessive worry or fear
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irrational fears or phobias
  • Panic attacks
  • Avoidance of certain situations or activities
  • Obsessive thoughts or behaviors
  • Flashbacks or nightmares related to a traumatic event

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek help from a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

How to Help Someone with an Anxiety Disorder

If you have a loved one or friend with an anxiety disorder, there are several ways you can support them. These include:

  • Educate yourself about anxiety disorders and their symptoms.
  • Be patient and understanding. Anxiety disorders can be challenging to manage, and your loved one may need extra support and understanding.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help and offer to accompany them to appointments.
  • Avoid minimizing their feelings or telling them to “just relax.”
  • Be a good listener and offer a safe space for them to express their feelings.
  • Help them practice self-care and engage in activities that help reduce their anxiety.

Self-Care for Anxiety Disorders

Self care is an important part of taking care of all aspects of your mental health, including your anxiety. There are several anxiety self-care practices that can help manage symptoms of anxiety disorders. These include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation
  • Engaging in activities you enjoy
  • Setting boundaries and saying no to things that may trigger your anxiety
  • Avoiding alcohol and drugs
  • Connecting with supportive friends and family members

Anxiety disorders are a common and treatable mental health condition that can significantly impact a person’s daily life. By understanding the different types of anxiety disorders, their symptoms and available treatments, we can better support those who are struggling with anxiety. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, seek help from a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. With the right support and treatment, it is possible to manage anxiety and live a fulfilling life.

Treatment Options

Anxiety disorder treatments can vary, depending on the severity of your symptoms and your treatment preferences. These options can include:


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage symptoms of anxiety disorders. These may include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications or beta-blockers. It is essential to work closely with a doctor to find the right medication and dosage for your specific needs.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms of anxiety disorders. These may include regular exercise, a healthy diet and stress-management techniques such as meditation or yoga. Avoiding alcohol and drugs is also crucial, as they can worsen symptoms of anxiety.


Therapy, also known as psychotherapy or talk therapy, is a common treatment for anxiety disorders. A therapist can help you identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to your anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that has been shown to be particularly effective in treating anxiety disorders.

Seeking professional help for your anxiety disorder can make a huge difference in your quality of life. Old Vineyard is proud to offer several programs designed to help those struggling with anxiety as a part of substance abuse, or a large, traumatic life event. Call today at (336) 794-3550 or take our online assessment to see if Old Vineyard is right for you.

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services is a treatment center that provides compassionate inpatient and outpatient treatment to help those achieve meaningful mental health and wellness. We treat a variety of behavioral health disorders including trauma, depression, mood disorders and more.

Our team of dedicated staff pride themselves on creating a safe and welcoming environment for all of our patients and their loved ones. Some of our services include our treatment, specialty and outpatient programs. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we provide a beautiful, campus-like atmosphere.

To schedule a consultation with us or for more information, please call 855-602-5920.