Therapist talking to client

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Sep 1, 2021

Anxiety is a mental illness characterized by persistent and overwhelming worry in ordinary life situations. Anxiety disorders can interfere with an individual’s life, work, and relationships and become difficult to control. Luckily, there are many effective treatments, such as therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.


There are different types of anxiety disorders. Here are some of the most common.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive worry about a variety of things in your everyday life. You may also experience physical symptoms, like nausea, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath from time to time.

Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive anxiety in social situations. People with Social Anxiety Disorder typically fear being embarrassed, judged, or rejected. This can cause people to avoid situations where they might see other people or experience anxiety.

Separation Anxiety Disorder can occur in children or adults and is characterized by feeling excessive anxiety about being apart from someone you are attached to.

Panic Disorder causes a person to experience reoccurring panic attacks. Panic attacks are moments of intense fear that begin suddenly and can cause physical symptoms of panic. They can be triggered by specific situations, or come on out of the blue, and can last several minutes or longer.

A phobia is an intense fear of a specific thing or situation that is not typically harmful. Phobias can make you avoid the thing that you fear and feel excessive anxiety when exposed to it.

Agoraphobia is characterized by excessive fear of a place or situation that could cause panic or feelings of being trapped. It is caused by the fear that you will not be able to escape or get help if you need it.

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety disorders can be caused by a variety of factors.

Genetics. Anxiety disorders are shown to run in families. If a blood relative of yours has an anxiety disorder, you may be at a higher risk of developing it.

Trauma. Experiencing past traumatic events can put you at a higher risk for developing an anxiety disorder.

Stress. Your lifestyle or living conditions can put you at risk for developing an anxiety disorder. Things like a stressful life event or a stressful home or work environment can also be risk factors.

Underlying health issues. Some medical conditions and medications can lead to symptoms of anxiety, including thyroid problems, drug or alcohol use, or co-occurring mental illnesses.

How Do I Get Help?

If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety and would like to get on the road to recovery, reach out to your health care provider. They can help you start working with a mental health care professional who can help you feel better.

Guild Can Help

We are a team of professionals who are always ready to meet our clients’ individual and unique needs. Our wide array of mental health services are integrated, holistic, person-centered, and community-based. Call our Community Access team at 651-925-8490 to speak with us about our services.



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Anxiety Disorders, Mayo Clinic.

Diagnosis and Treatment, Mayo Clinic.

Anxiety Disorders, National Institute for Mental Health.

Panic Disorder, National Institute for Mental Health.

Anxiety Disorders, National Alliance on Mental Illness.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?, American Psychiatric Association. 

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder, Mayo Clinic. 

Agoraphobia, Mayo Clinic.

Phobia, Harvard Medical School.