We all get the jitters before an interview or when we’re about to make a speech in front of a massive audience. Your heart begins to race, your feet turn cold, your hands become all sweaty and your legs seem like they will give way any minute. There is nothing unusual about it. This is how the body responds to stress in highly strung situations.
However, at times, many feel anxious without any particular reason. It tends to happen frequently. The mind transmits false signals regarding a possible threat and prompts the body to react in a baffling manner.
If you’ve experienced something similar, its time you sought medical help. You might be suffering from anxiety disorder. We shall brief you about the types and symptoms of anxiety disorder.
What is Anxiety Disorder NOS?
Anxiety disorder NOS is an abnormal feeling of anxiousness. This umbrella term covers a range of mental disorders characterized by feelings of severe anxiety, fear, worry, apprehension and nervousness. The distress caused is so much that many a times it hampers one’s ability to lead a normal life without interruption. For this reason it is a serious mental issue and needs to be addressed at the earliest.
Researchers are still to discover the exact cause of anxiety disorder. Selected studies regard it as a result of various internal and environmental factors. Changes in the brain structure (those responsible for mood and memory), chemical imbalances in the brain and environmental stress are believed to trigger anxiety disorder. It has also been stated that this mental illness may be a genetic predisposition. However, there is not much evidence to support this claim.
Types of Anxiety Disorder NOS
Anxiety disorders are classified into the following types:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder:
Also called GAD, this is the most commonly observed anxiety disorder. It is described as the constant feeling of anxiety or unrealistic worry even when there is nothing to worry about. It severely affects day to day activities. The common symptoms of GAD are restlessness, fatigue, insomnia, nausea, stomach upset, irritability, headaches, muscle tensions and very poor concentration.
- Social Anxiety Disorder
In this type, one develops extreme social phobia. The person is worried about being judged or scrutinized negatively by others or of being ridiculed or embarrassed in public. Therefore, he shies away from society or social interaction.
- Panic Disorder
This type involves the highest intensity of fear, terror and worry. Sudden and repeated attacks are one of the most common symptoms of panic disorder. These attacks generally last for 15- 30 minutes. It is very difficult to determine when a person may suffer a panic attack because they come without any warning. Chest pain (as though one is about to get a heart attack), palpitations, dizziness, sweating, trembling, choking and nausea are some of the other symptoms that manifest.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A Person is said to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when he or she performs certain rituals, routines or tasks multiple times on account of some fears or thoughts worrying them at the back of their mind. These tasks or routines become an obsession and the person gets restless if they do not get a chance to do it. Some of these obsessions include constant hand washing or repeated wiping of objects for the fear of contamination, checking the locks over and over again checking if the gas is turned off, insisting that things are arranged in a particular manner etc.
- Post Traumatic Disorder
Such type of anxiety generally develops after a life threatening event or a traumatic experience. Events that have a deep impact include the sudden death of a loved one, sexual abuse, physical assault or a natural disaster. Symptoms of this type of anxiety disorder are nightmares, flashbacks, social withdrawal, lack of concentration and no sleep.
- Specific Phobia
Phobias are described as an unrealistic fear for an object, situation or activity. The phobia includes the fear for snakes or animals, fear of water, fear of flying, fear of heights, fear of darkness etc. It generally results in avoiding the object or event they fear thus strengthening the phobia.