It is important to remember that anxiety comes in all different forms, as complicating and technical as they get it’s important to determine which form/forms you are suffering with. I am no doctor, but through my own experience it was a learning curve for me, and I have always been one to do my research when I find myself in tough situations.
Without sticking to the same old bullshit medical definitions (you can never generalise a type of disorder for millions of people) I thought it may be useful to write down my experience with all different types of anxiety, but like I said, everyone differs with what they experience.
Health Anxiety – This was the big one for me, it involves the constant obsessing over something being wrong with you, constantly needing reassurance from the doctor or hospital, reassurance being little to none for a short period of time, and it soon wears off. I found myself regularly googling symptoms I encountered, and finding the worst possible solution and totally freaking out. It is like an endless circle,’there’s something wrong with me’ then came the convincing part, I would convince myself something was wrong, e.g google, I would then experience a panic attack, and in my mind that proved to me my original statement, that I now had a medical condition.
Social Anxiety – This is perhaps one the most common one of all, for me it wasn’t my most frequent one, but I experienced a great deal of it. The feeling that other people were judging me, thinking ‘Do I sound like I’m insane?’, ‘Have I said the wrong thing?’ it stems from childhood, the way you interact as a child, your experiences etc set the basis for how you socialise. For example, a person who was bullied as a child, is more likely to feel unworthy, and like they don’t fit in, it is hard for them to accept and adapt to social situations. I’m fortunate enough to have had a good amount of friends growing up, and never experienced bullying. (This may have something to do with my permanent bitch face) but I had great friends. Once the anxiety hit I would be over conscious of what I said, and how I came across to other people. After every word, sentence, conversation, I would subconsciously mock myself ‘Why did you say that? You sound stupid’ We create thoughts for other people, that they are so tuned in to what we are saying, and judging. Many people fall victim to this negative way of thinking, which can all be fuel for the start of anxiety disorder.
OCD – something less common in regards to anxiety, having unwelcoming thoughts and an uncommon obsession. I did begin to grow the obsession with being near doors, bathrooms, my own bed, so I could be alone and close my eyes to ‘escape’ I guess in some ways you can say this was a form of obsessive behaviour. Similar to this, phobias can become a big cause of anxious thoughts and feelings. For example a complete fear of heights, falling or spiders to the point where you cannot live normally without being conscious of these fears presenting themselves.
Post-traumatic stress disorder – for example loosing a family or friend, something I have experience with that could have been a contributing factor. It is very common for survivors of wars, and the target of a violent act or relationship to develop this anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder – this is something I was first diagnosed with, it is the most common, and is set about to describe someone with extremely anxious thoughts and feelings , but for no specific reason e.g scared of illness, or scared of socialising. It is generally used to diagnose people who cannot shift anxious thoughts and panic attacks in their everyday lives. It is such a general term (hinted in the title) that it no two people will ever experience the same type of symptoms, if diagnosed with this disorder.
Whilst some of these medical terms are overused, boring or too by the book. It is however important to find the reason behind why you are experiencing these things, before you can begin to get over it.
P.s I am in no way a doctor, so these terms are not supposed to be specific by definition, they are simply formed from my experiences and opinions of the different types of anxieties that can be formed.