Feeling occasional anxiety is completely normal. However, people with anxiety disorders can have intense, extreme, and persistent worry or fear regarding everyday things. Anxiety disorders usually involve episodes of fast-approaching feelings like intense anxiety, fear, or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks) and happen often. These stages of anxiety typically happen in four sections.
Are there Different Types of Anxiety Disorders?
There are 7 common anxiety disorders that are recognized in psychiatry today. Each one is a bit different, but all can be life-destroying if not managed the right way.
Phobias, Specific Phobias, Agoraphobia
Phobia is defined as “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.”.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when someone feels anxious on most days. Worrying about many different things for a period of 6 months or more is how generalized anxiety disorder is diagnosed.
Panic Disorder is also called panic attacks. These are attacks of extreme anxiety paired with physical symptoms that are uncontrollable. It is diagnosed after continual attacks for over one month.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety is an intense fear of being humiliated, embarrassed, or criticized, even in everyday situations.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
OCD is when someone has unwanted, intrusive thoughts and fears that cause anxiety. In an effort to calm their anxieties, they may perform certain activities or rituals in a habitual way.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
A person showing inappropriate (for their age, or developmental level) fear or anxiety from leaving a person. It is diagnosed after 4 recurring episodes.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a disorder created by traumatic events such as war, assault, disaster, or family trauma.
What are the Stages of Anxiety?
Anxiety can be diagnosed in 4 different stages. Not everyone will experience all 4 stages, though. Sometimes a person can stop at mild anxiety, while others may experience all 4 stages up to panic level.
Mild anxiety is very close to normal everyday worries and stress. It is normal to feel mild anxiety when awaiting news on something or having an ill loved one. Symptoms of mild anxiety are usually fidgeting, sweating, heightened senses, or irritability.
Mild anxiety is sometimes referred to as situational anxiety because it resolves itself once the situation is over.
Moderate anxiety is more focused than mild anxiety. When in a stressful situation, zoning in on the situation, and not much else. Some of the symptoms of moderate anxiety include stomach pains, racing heartbeat, sweating or dry mouth. Exaggerated hand/arm movements, rapid speech or high-pitched voices are also common.
Moderate anxiety is also usually situational. Once the problem is solved, or the situation is over, the person will likely resume their normal feelings.
Severe anxiety has much of the same symptoms as mild, and moderate anxiety. But, can have added symptoms of vomiting, chest pain, pounding heartbeat, diarrhea, scattered thoughts, or erratic behavior. Some people even experience a sense of dread or impending doom.
With severe anxiety, someone’s ability to make decisions is impaired. Recognizing one’s own needs can even be difficult. Redirection is unlikely to work, and the anxiety does not go away easily.
Panic level anxiety is the most intense level of anxiety. It overwhelms someone’s ability to function normally. It is also the most disruptive and challenging.
Some people experience an inability to move or function. While others have the opposite reaction and run with no ability to stop themselves or sit down. Perceptions can become distorted and rational thinking is next to impossible.
Panic level anxiety takes more than a change of situation to resolve. Typically panic level anxiety, especially if it happens more than a few times, needs mental health treatment to be handled correctly.
Can Each Stage of Anxiety be Managed?
Each stage of anxiety can be treated and managed with a variety of modalities. There are several medications approved to treat and manage many different anxiety disorders. Therapies, groups, and other programs like yoga can also help.
The first step would be to get diagnosed. Diagnosis can sound scary, but it’s really just a step to becoming healthier. Once a diagnosis happens, a treatment and management plan can be put in place.
Is There Treatment Available for Anxiety Disorders?
Yes! There are many treatments available for every anxiety disorder. At Agape Treatment Center, we offer long-term strategies for treating and managing anxiety disorders. We take a holistic approach to encourage increased overall wellness.
Learning how to manage and treat your anxiety in a comfortable place can ensure health long-term. You can call us now to speak with our admissions coordinators. They are highly trained to answer any questions you may have and can start the enrollment process for you.
Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her unique combination of education and experience allows her to provide exceptional care to clients and lead her team with confidence. Stephanie’s joy comes from witnessing the moments when her patients creatively connect the dots and bravely move toward reclaiming their power. Her purpose is to help individuals understand their past so they can create a future full of hope, growth, and success. Stephanie attributes a large portion of her success to the supportive culture and strong sense of community fostered by the Agape team.