Anxiety – Types, Causes & Symptoms

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Anxiety disorder is one of the common mental health disorders faced by people. If one has an anxiety disorder, one might feel dread and fear for even simple things and situations. Anxiety also comes with physical symptoms like a pounding heart and excess sweating.

Everyone feels anxious at some point, but when this feeling of anxiousness continues for a long time, it appears without a reason or gets triggered even by simple things.

A person who has anxiety may suffer from anxiety attacks. The symptoms of an anxiety attack may include heart palpitations, feeling of panic, uncontrollable thoughts and shortness of breath. They come along with episodes of excessive and extreme worry, fear, discomfort that can last for a few seconds or take more than a few minutes depending on the person and the situation.

Types of Anxiety

Anxiety might be caused due to a number of reasons. Based on this, anxiety disorder can be classified into types. 

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD is when a person feels unnecessary tension or fear for unrealistic reasons without a trigger. The worry might range from simple things to important things like work, relationships, and health. This type of anxiety disorder is long-lasting, and the cause of it is not always identified. Physical symptoms of GAD include difficulty breathing, sleeping, and concentrating. 

2. Phobias

Individuals with a phobia have an intense fear of certain things or situations. While some of them might be reasonable and some not so much, the intensity of this fear is insanely high. People with phobias spend a lot of time avoiding the situations that might trigger their phobias. Some of the phobias are due to spiders, dogs, snakes, blood, flying, height and injections. 

3. Separation anxiety 

Separation anxiety is mostly seen in teens and children or teens. They worry about their parents abandoning them or something terrible happening to them when they are away from them. It happens mostly to younger children and might resolve when addressed at a young age. It might go unresolved or not completely cured; in that case, the adult continues having a separation anxiety disorder.

4. Panic disorder

When one suffers from panic disorder, they face sudden, intense panic attacks. They are stronger than any of the other anxiety disorders. Panic attacks may come out of the blue, or they may be triggered by something the person dreads. Since panic attacks feel like heart attacks, they are very scary to experience. During a panic attack, you might experience chest pain, sweating, heart palpitations and a feeling of choking. People suffering from panic attacks might often worry about the next time they will suffer from it and try to avoid triggers.

5. Social Anxiety

They may also call this condition social phobia. Social anxiety is an extreme fear of people judging you in social situations or public embarrassment. They might feel self-conscious even with daily social activities and might be overwhelmed by it. A few examples of social anxiety are fear of intimacy and stage fright. They might feel anxious about being humiliated and rejected, so they tend to avoid almost all social situations.

Causes of Anxiety

The cause of anxiety disorder varies from person to person. Sometimes, there is only one type of anxiety present in the individual, and sometimes, due to one, there can arise other anxiety disorders. It is important to know that anxiety disorders don’t come from a place of weakness or due to character flaws; they are a disease. The general causes of an anxiety disorder include,

  • Genetics
  • Substance withdrawal
  • Environmental stressors
  • Medical factors

Symptoms of Anxiety

The various types of anxiety disorders have their own symptoms. And it is possible for an individual to experience more than one anxiety disorder at the same time. Studies have claimed that girls or women have more chances of experiencing an anxiety disorder than men. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can be classified into three types, 

  1. Mental symptoms might include feeling uneasiness, fear and panic. They might have repeated thoughts of a traumatic event and even have nightmares. Their thoughts tend to be obsessive around these topics. 
  2. Physical symptoms are nausea, numbness, dry mouth, cold or sweaty hands, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and muscle tension. 
  3. Behavioral symptoms can be repeated habitual symptoms like washing hands again and again, trouble sleeping and not being able to remain calm and be still. 


When we talk about anxiety, it is not just a medical condition; it is an emotion that is required for survival when one is in danger. When this emotion is out of proportion and tends to affect the daily life and decision-making of an individual, it is called an anxiety disorder. There are different types of anxiety disorder that require different treatments, ranging from therapy to medication. 


1. What do coping skills help with anxiety?

Some of the coping skills that might help with anxiety are getting enough sleep, having a balanced diet, taking a time-out, reducing alcohol and caffeine, learning about your anxiety and exercising regularly.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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