5 main types of anxiety disorders


When it comes to anxiety, what do you think of? Perhaps excessive nervousness, fear, and worry may be the most common answers. However, anxiety disorders have multiple subtypes. Here are the 5 main types of anxiety disorders that exist due to different causes. As a disclaimer, this only provides general descriptions and not a diagnosis. If you have any further inquiries, please contact a professional for details.

1. Phobia

It is also known as specific phobia as well. Individuals with phobia tend to feel prolonged fear and distress when the stimulus is present. Their phobias are further divided into four categories, such as animals like spiders, natural environments like heights or water, blood injection, and situational backgrounds like elevators and airplanes (Samra & Abdijadid, 2020).

2. Social anxiety disorder

SAD refers to extreme fear of humiliation and embarrassment when it comes to social interaction. Individuals will do their best to avoid socialization as much as possible. Studies in the past have shown that social anxiety disorder has a current worldwide prevalence of 5% to 10% and a lifetime prevalence of 8.4% to 15%. The onset of SAD is typically in childhood or before 20 years old (Rose & Tadi, 2020).

3. Panic disorder

It is also known as panic attack and it is a sudden shock that causes a person to feel discomfort in the chest, intense sweating and racing heart rate. Individuals with panic attacks may also experience derealization, which is feeling detached from the world and depersonalization, which is feeling detached from his/ her own body. Since panic attacks are unexpected, they can happen only a few times a year or many times in one day (Cackovic, Nazir & Marwaha, 2020).

4. Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia refers to a person that is extremely afraid of crowds and worrying about the challenges when it comes to escape. The person will do their best to avoid crowds, such as New Year countdowns or peak hours at a store. The DSM 5 suggested if individuals feel discomfort in two out of five situations, such as public transportation, open spaces, enclosed spaces, lines/crowds, and being outside of the house, it is recommended to seek help and advice (Balaram & Marwaha, 2020).

5. Generalized anxiety disorder

GAD is very common and it can cause up to 20% of adults to be affected by anxiety disorders each year. This disorder consists of excessive worrying of multiple contexts, such as family, finance and health at least in the past six months. GAD is also likely to occur along with other disorders as well. Individuals tend to feel restless, insomniac, irritated and mind blank (Munir & Takov, 2020).


Anxiety disorders are complex and there are many ongoing subtypes and categories. However, we hope you find this useful. Comment, like and share if you learned something on this topic!


Balaram, K., & Marwaha, R. (2020, March 31). Agoraphobia. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554387/

Cackovic, C., Nazir, S., & Marwaha, R. (2020, June 25). Panic Disorder (Attack). StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430973/

Munir, S., & Takov, V. (2020, June 2). Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441870/

Rose, G.M., & Tadi, P. (2020, July 8). Social Anxiety Disorder. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555890/

Samra, C.K., & Abdijadid, S. (2020, July 10). Specific Phobia. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499923/

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  1. Wow it seems like I have all of these because I have anxiety diagnosed by a doctor but I don’t know which one it is.


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