Anxiety Disorder

What are the five major types of anxiety disorders?

The five major types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
  • Panic Disorder
    Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
  • Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
    Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.

    Source:  (National Institutes of Mental Health)

Helpful Articles

How Anxiety Leads to Disruptive Behaviors
A wonderful article written by Caroline Miller in very parent-friendly language on kids who seem oppositional are often severely anxious.
Source:  Child Mind Institute

Quick Facts on Illness Anxiety Disorder
A brief overview on the signs and symptoms of illness anxiety disorder, and how it’s treated in children and adolescents.
Información básica sobre el trastorno de ansiedad por enfermedad
Una breve descripción de las señales y síntomas del trastorno de ansiedad por enfermedad, y cómo es tratado en niños y adolescentes.
Source:  Child Mind Institute

Tips for Calming Anxious Kids
One mom’s go-to techniques for coaxing anxiety-prone children out of their fears.  Written by Michaela Searfoorce in family-friendly language.
Source:  Child Mind Institute

Tips on Managing Social Anxiety
If worrying about embarrassing yourself is getting in your way, here are some strategies for beating the fear.  Easy to read article written by Rachel Ehmke.
Source:  Child Mind Institute

Understanding Anxiety Disorder – Caregivers: Get the Facts
A basic fact sheet on Understanding Anxiety Disorders for Caregivers.
Source: Samsha, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


Louisiana Department of Health – Office of Behavioral Health
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)