The Types of Anxiety and their Effects

Shivani Pujari, Dedicated Writer

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Anxiety. What is it? That depends on which type that is focused on. There are several types of anxiety, like generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. There are others, like specific phobia, agoraphobia, selective mutism, separation anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia. There are different extents of anxiety, ranging from shortness of breath, and a feeling of terror, to not being able to speak.

    One type of anxiety that is called generalized anxiety disorder, is very common among United States. There are more than 3 million people who get this each year. Generalized anxiety disorder is when somebody worries for an extended period of time. The worries could span over a range of life situations, like jobs, school, social life, financial matters, and more.

    Panic disorder is when a person experiences shortness of breath, dizziness, and intense dread. This can last for hours, but usually peaks at 10 minutes. Some people have panic attacks after a frightening experience or after being stressed for a long time.

    The next type of anxiety is specific phobia. As reflected in the name, specific phobia relates to a specific thing that a person is afraid of. The object someone is afraid of could range from death defying acts to everyday items. A person with specific phobia could go to great lengths to avoid their fear.

    Agoraphobia is the fear of open, public spaces, or public transport. Agoraphobia can prohibit people from leaving their home. People with agoraphobia have a fear of not being able to get out of a public place. Keep in mind, agoraphobia is not necessarily the fear of social interaction.

    But selective mutism on the other hand, is an extreme form of social anxiety. When a young individual goes through a traumatic experience, and they choose to stop talking because of it, it is called selective mutism. They will usually speak in familiar situations with familiar people, but when introduced to a new setting, they will most likely stay quiet.

    There’s also social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Anyone can have this disorder, and it is when a person has a constant fear of being judged, or embarrassed in front of everybody around them. Many young people are suffering from this these days because of the amount of social isolation because of media use.

    And finally, separation anxiety disorder. Separation anxiety disorder is when somebody has such an attachment to a person or an object, that they feel panic without it or them. If somebody does not have the item or object then they could feel lost, or could potentially begin to feel panic symptoms.

    Anxiety is a real world problem that affects a large portion of the population. Without knowing what anxiety is, and how it affects people, it cannot be addressed and managed so that people suffering from it can function normally.

 

An Interview with Legacy High School student An Duong:

Question Answer
What activates your anxiety? Really, my anxiety activates in unfamiliar unknown situations. Something like trying a new sport/activity. A situation where I’m out in the open, with new people and where I feel like everyone is judging me. A lot of thoughts that are unrealistic about what could happen fill my brain because I don’t know anything for sure.
Have you experienced any anxiety attacks before? I don’t think so. I think I have very mild anxiety, I have more of mental breakdowns than anxiety attacks. The short answer is no.
Do you have any ways to calm yourself down when you experience anxiety? If I just change my mindset by taking myself out of the situation and calming down. I use some positive self talk, like ‘it’s okay to mess up’ and ‘you’re going to be fine’. I like to do physical stuff to calm myself down too. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I end up fidgeting, like playing with my hands or tapping my foot. If I’m standing, then I’ll pace around or loosen up my feet. I just really try to make myself less rigid.
When fidget toys came out, they were meant for people with anxiety, and ADHD. If you used the fidgets, do you think that they would help you focus on other tasks? No, I find those as very annoying toys. I don’t think that they help me, and the fidgets distract me from what I’m doing because there are so many options to use on them. I usually resort to making one action over and over and over again so that it becomes manual. Like bouncing my foot for example, or bouncing my pencil.
Does anxiety affect your performance at school? Oh yeah, totally. Often times when my teacher asks for an answer and I definitely know what the answer to the question is, just because I feel like I’ll get it wrong, or it will only be half correct I won’t open my mouth. People tell me that I speak very quietly, and so if my teacher asks me to repeat the answer, it puts me in a very uncomfortable situation, so I try to avoid that at all costs. It definitely affects my participation in school.
What is the best way to prevent anxiety, in your opinion? There’s not really a way to prevent anxiety, you kind of have to slowly start to take yourself out of that negative mindset of your going to fail and everything is going to go wrong. It’s like when somebody smokes, they can’t just stop taking it immediately, they have to slowly taper off the habit. That’s how I feel anxiety works. You really have to work on encouraging yourself which can take lots of time, because it’s really easy to revert your mindset back to zero.
Who do you go to talk about anxiety with (counselors, parents, etc.)? I have a therapist, but I don’t really see her that much anymore. I did enjoy talking to her, and I recommend talking to a counselor or somebody like that, because they don’t really know you. They are a non biased source that you can talk to. But some people can’t go to a therapist or the counselor, so really any friends that know you and are objective. I occasionally talk to my mom about it, but that’s a little rare. If I can’t talk to my counselor then I talk to people that I trust that are really objective.

What is Anxiety?

By: Anonymous

 

Anxiety is trying to stay hidden, while holding a neon sign.

The millions of scenarios, I’ve played in my head

All ending up with embarrassment or death.

What if I slip and fall

What if they laugh.

What

If.

What if they giggle and snicker

at my failure?

My head is always full of what – ifs.

At night I fail to sleep.

What if someone breaks in through the window.

What if someone murders me in my sleep?

What if my heart stops?

What if I wake up late and miss the bus?

What.

If.

Swinging doors are a nightmare, without a sign of push pull

When you pull on a push door, I feel like I’m going to hurl