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  • Unpacking Anxiety: A Guide to Different Anxiety Disorders

    Anxiety is a common human experience. We all feel nervous before a big presentation or worried about an upcoming exam. But for some people, anxiety can become overwhelming and disruptive to daily life. This is when it might be helpful to consider if an anxiety disorder is present.

    There are several different types of anxiety disorders, each with its own unique set of characteristics. Understanding these distinctions can be the first step towards getting the right help.


    Here’s a look at some of the most common ones:

    • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): People with GAD experience chronic, excessive worry about a multitude of things, often everyday situations. They may feel restless, on edge, or fatigued, and struggle to concentrate.
    • Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by sudden and recurring panic attacks. These intense episodes of fear come on quickly and reach their peak within minutes. Physical symptoms like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness often accompany them.
    • Phobias: Phobias are intense fears of specific objects or situations, like spiders, heights, or enclosed spaces. People with phobias will often go to great lengths to avoid their trigger, which can significantly limit their lives.
    • Social Anxiety Disorder: Social anxiety disorder, previously called social phobia, is the fear of social situations where one might be scrutinized or judged. People with this disorder may worry excessively about embarrassing themselves or being negatively evaluated by others.
    • Separation Anxiety Disorder: This disorder is more commonly diagnosed in children, but can also affect adults. It’s characterized by an intense fear of separation from a loved one or attachment figure.
    • Selective Mutism: Selective mutism is a rare anxiety disorder that causes a person to be unable to speak in certain social situations, like school, even though they can speak normally in other settings.

    Remember, this is not an exhaustive list, and it’s important to consult with a mental health professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. However, by gaining a basic understanding of different anxiety disorders, you can be better equipped to identify them in yourself or someone you care about.

    If you suspect you or someone you know might have an anxiety disorder, seeking help is crucial. With effective treatment options like therapy and medication, anxiety disorders are highly manageable. You don’t have to struggle alone. Click the button below and set up an Intake Appointment to find out more about Marin Wellness Counseling and how they can support you.

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