Understanding Common Anxiety Disorders And Their Symptoms

Most people experience mild symptoms of anxiety or worry when they are faced with a significant challenge in their life, or if they are experiencing a stressful period in their life. When people are experiencing mild anxiety they can often find relief by talking to their spouse, a friend, or another family member. Other solutions for mild cases of anxiety may include reducing the number of daily commitments in one’s schedule, or taking a much-needed vacation. People with a true anxiety disorder however, may have tried some of these methods yet were not successful in eliminating or even reducing their anxious feelings. In fact, their anxiety-related symptoms may persist long after the trigger experience that seemingly introduced anxiety issues into their life. In this post, we will outline some of the most common anxiety disorders, and most importantly how to seek the appropriate help in order to heal from their disorder and regain their former self.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

A generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common disorders associated with anxiety. In the United States alone, over 3 million people are thought to have this disorder. This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by a persistent worry or anxiety that is out of proportion to a problem or an event. People with GAD tend to overthink when trying to make a decision, they are unable to move past their feelings of uncertainty, and ultimately never arrive at a decision or a resolution of their issue. Common physical symptoms associated with GAD include persistent irritability, difficulty falling and staying asleep, gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or IBS, trembling, twitching, and fatigue.

Panic Disorder

A panic disorder typically manifests itself in an abrupt fashion. An individual may be performing a routine task such as driving to work or standing in line at a grocery store, then suddenly experience intense, paralyzing feelings of fear. A person experiencing a panic attack will often experience physical symptoms such as a pounding heart, sweating, dizziness, nausea, along with a feeling they are not in control of themselves or their symptoms. It’s not uncommon for many individuals to experience a panic attack or two when they are under a great deal of stress. With a panic disorder however, individuals continue to experience panic attacks even though their stressor(s) may have long since resolved. Over time, the particular place or situation in which the individual experienced some of their first panic attacks triggers even more intense feelings of fear, thus leading the individual to avoid the place or situation altogether.

Phobia Disorder

Some individuals may experience all the symptoms of a panic attack, but only in relation to very specific triggers. A fear of flying is a very common phobia, with some individuals refusing to fly altogether after they become almost completely incapacitated during a flight. Other common phobias include a fear of snakes, spiders, and dogs. Others may be frightened of enclosed areas (claustrophobia) and may avoid tight spaces such as undergoing an MRI test or standing in an elevator. Although a person with a phobia may be extremely frightened around their trigger, as long as they can avoid it they feel they are able to function normally in life.

Anxiety Disorders — Why Do They Occur?

The reasons for acquiring an anxiety disorder are many, and are almost as unique as the individual suffering from one or more of these disorders. In some cases, an individual experienced some type of trauma or abuse as a child, leaving them without the proper foundation for coping with life’s challenges. In other cases, a person may have experienced a singular traumatic event as an adult, such as the violent loss of a loved one, a rape, and/or a life-threatening situation. In addition, it is not uncommon for there to be a genetic component to these types of disorders, as they do tend to run in family members, at least in some form.

How to Resolve Anxiety Disorders

People experiencing an anxiety disorder can absolutely find relief and the healing they are searching for by reaching out to trained professionals able to offer a compassionate and helping hand. Working together in a dignified and effective environment, will allow patients to find the freedom, the healing, and the wholeness they deserve. If you need more information on the services we offer, please contact us.


Jonas Hill Hospital & Clinic a division of Caldwell Memorial Hospital provides our community with safe, dignified and integrated care for patients experiencing an acute mental health need. We provide hope, treatment, and healing through a holistic program of evidence-based psychiatric treatment, team-based medical care, and education provided by engaging and dedicated professionals in a safe and healing environment. Contact Jonas Hill Hospital and Clinic today at (828) 394-6722 for more information.