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Six Basic Types of Anxiety

Six Basic Types of Anxiety

Six Basic Types of Anxiety

The six basic types of anxiety are listed below, but please bear in mind that your anxiety may include more than one. Whatever your issue/s they may be helped with a course of clinical hypnosis/cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

  • Generalised anxiety disorder(GAD) A person may feel anxious on most days, worrying about lots of different things, for a period of six months or more.
  • Social anxiety/low self-esteem. Avoiding groups, situations or people that are unknown to you. Not feel you are good enough
  • Specific phobias. The most common being heights, spiders, needles or being sick although there are countless others.
  • Panic disorder. Fight, flight or freeze leading to overwhelming sensations like rapid heartbeat, over-breathing, heat etc.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) Feeling the need to do something over and over again as a way of overcoming the anxiety. Typically hand washing but there are many others.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Being the recipient of a traumatic experience, which plays over and over in your head.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

GAD is the most usual kind of anxiety disorder. The main symptom of GAD are over-worrying and over-thinking, where things may go round and round in your head, like a broken record (rumination). You might feel edgy and nervous a lot of the time..

This anxiety may have a severe impact on your life leading you to become isolated, suffer from insomnia or even not being able to work.  Anxiety may also lead to depression as you may feel you have no purpose to your life.

Social anxiety/low-self esteem

Social anxiety disorder is an overwhelming fear of social situations like meeting or speaking to people.

Symptoms of social anxiety include worrying about speaking to people, dreading social events, avoiding eye contact, fear of eating/drinking in public and low self-esteem, e.g. not feeling worthy, having a low amount of belief in your abilities.

You may worry that others will notice or judge you and you might try to avoid certain situations. You may see that your fears aren’t logical, but it’s difficult to control them.


A phobia is an overwhelming fear of an object, place, situation, feeling or animal.

Phobias are extreme fears which develop when a person has heightened feelings of danger towards a situation or object. Someone with a phobia may try to avoid the thing that’s causing them the anxiety.

Common examples of phobias include:

  • Animals – Such spiders, snakes or rodents
  • Environmental – Such as heights and germs
  • Situational – Such as going to the dentist
  • Body – Such as blood or being sick

Panic disorder

Panic disorder (as opposed to panic attacks which are normally due to a specific reason) means you have regular panic attacks with no particular trigger. They can come out of the blue and feel very intense and frightening, leaving you fearful about having panic attacks in the future.

Symptoms may include:

  • An overwhelming sense of dread or fear
  • Chest pain or a sensation that your heart is beating irregularly
  • Feeling that you might be dying or having a heart attack
  • Sweating and hot flushes, or chills and shivering
  • A dry mouth, shortness of breath or feeling like you’re choking
  • Nausea, dizziness and feeling faint
  • Numbness, pins and needles or a tingling sensation in your fingers
  • A need to go to the toilet
  • A churning stomach
  • Ringing in your ears

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

You will have obsessions and/or compulsions if you have OCD.

An obsession is a repeated unwelcome thought or image. These can be difficult to ignore. These thoughts can be disturbing, which can make you feel distressed and anxious.

A compulsion is something you think about or do repeatedly to help relieve anxiety.. Such as saying a phrase in your head to calm yourself. Or checking that the front door is locked.

You might believe that something bad will happen if you don’t do these things. You may realise that your thinking and behaviour is not logical but still find it very difficult to stop.

There are different types of OCD including:

  • Contamination – An impulse to clean or wash because you perceive something as contaminated
  • Checking – The constant need to check yourself or your environment to prevent damage, fire, leaks or harm
  • Intrusive thoughts – Repetitive thoughts which may be horrific and upsetting
  • Hoarding – Not feeling able to throw away useless or worn out items

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is caused by a threatening situation, such as a car crash or abuse. You can feel anxious for months or years after the event, even if you weren’t physically harmed at the time.

Getting Help with Anxiety

If you would like to discuss how we can help you with your anxiety please get in touch for an initial free consultation. Call us on 01908 265410 or email

Six Basic Types of Anxiety

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