6 Most Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a normal emotion; everyone experiences it to some degree. However, if you find yourself constantly panicking, stressed, overwhelmed, or flooded with dread, anxiety may now have become a problem in your life.

Let’s take a closer look at the 6 most common types of anxiety disorders:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is the most common type of anxiety disorder. It occurs when a person experiences anxiety most of the day on most days. It is chronic and always there to a degree.

Some symptoms of GAD:

  • Excessive worry about pretty much everything

  • Difficulty controlling worry

  • Restlessness or feeling on edge

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing

  • Irritability

  • Tense muscles

  • Difficulty sleeping, falling asleep, staying asleep, restlessness


Social Anxiety Disorder: occurs when a person experiences anxiety specifically in social situations. For example, when you have to give a public speech or go to a networking event.

Some symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder:

  • Fear of being judged by others

  • Difficulty maintaining friendships

  • Constantly worried about what others think of you

  • Difficulty doing things like getting gas, going to the store, interacting at work or school


Panic Disorder: occurs when a person experiences panic attacks often, they are period of intense fear. Having a panic attack here or there is normal but if they occur repeatedly in a week or in a week, this could be signs of panic disorder.

Some symptoms of a Panic Attack:

  • Period of intense fear or terror

  • Difficulty breathing or chest pain

  • Feel like you are dying

  • Severe body reactions like shaking or convulsing

  • Tingling or numbness in hands or fingers


Specific Phobias: occurs when a person experiences fear and distress regarding a specific object or place. This person will go to any length to avoid this thing or place which can significantly impact their daily life and routine. Some examples are fear of heights, planes, elevators, germs, animals, etc


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): occurs when a person has recurring obtrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions) that interfere with daily life. For example, you may be worried that you did not lock the door to your house. So you return to your door to check that is it locked 4 or 5 times before you can leave and even still, you may not be sure that the door is locked. Engaging in these “rituals” such as checking, washing, counting, etc. allow the person to feel less distress but interfere with their daily life.  


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): occurs when a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event in their lives (accident, disaster, war, assault, death).

Some symptoms of PTSD:       

  • Nightmares

  • Flashbacks

  • Feeling numb

  • Avoiding triggers to the traumatic event (people, places, things, etc)

  • Difficulty sleeping, irritability, feeling on edge, difficulty concentrating or focusing

To learn more about Anxiety Disorders, please reference the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders in Orange County, CA.

If you feel that you are struggling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorders, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it may be beneficial to seek the help of a professional. You can learn easy to use skills and tools to help you manage your anxiety symptoms and find relief.

Arati Patel Bio - Copy.jpg

Hi, I’m Arati Patel, a licensed marriage and family therapist with a passion for helping individuals heal, feel calm, and move towards wholeness. I have specialized interests in working with anxiety, stress, fear, self-doubt, first generation issues, cultural stress, and identity issues. I currently have a private practice in Los Angeles, CA.