Last updated:

November 4, 2022


 min read

Did you know that anxiety disorders can be of different types?

Anxiety disorders can disrupt your day-to-day functioning in multiple ways. Read on to learn about the most prevalent types of anxiety disorders.

Reviewed by
Written by
Aadya Varma

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

A person with GAD is likely to experience excessive worry that’s difficult for them to manage. This can take the form of overthinking or severe fear, apprehension, or panic about different events in the present or future. 


If you have been experiencing some of these following symptoms for more than 6 months, you are might have generalised anxiety disorder:

  • Constantly worrying about several events
  • Finding it difficult to manage anxiety-inducing thoughts 
  • Restlessness
  • Getting tired easily
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased irritability

GAD can occur at any point in life and is common in all age groups. Contrary to popular belief, children can also suffer from GAD and typically worry about issues related to performance at school or extracurriculars. Symptoms that sometimes accompany GAD in children include: 

  • Regularly seeking validation from parents, friends or teachers
  • Being over-conforming
  • Being a perfectionist
  • Being unsure of yourself and your capabilities 
  • Feeling a strong urge to redo tasks


The causes behind GAD include both environmental and genetic factors, such as:

  • A medical history of anxiety in the immediate family 
  • Recent or prolonged exposure to stressful situations
  • Excessive caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol dependence 
  • Childhood trauma
  • Certain physical conditions (thyroid problems, heart arrhythmias, etc.)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

OCD predominantly comprises two behaviours - obsession and compulsion. It is a mental disorder that causes repeated unwanted thoughts or sensations (obsessions) or the urge to do something over and over again (compulsions).


Common types of compulsive behaviour in people with OCD include:

  • Ordering and arranging
  • Hoarding
  • Cleaning and washing hands
  • Checking – such as checking if the doors are locked or if the gas is off
  • Counting repeatedly
  • Asking for reassurance
  • Repeating words in the head

Associated Disorders

OCD can sometimes trigger the following mental health conditions as well:

  1. Depression: OCD can cause persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in the activities you used to enjoy
  2. Eating disorders: These are characterised by an unhealthy attitude towards food that surface in the form of either eating excessively (binge eating) or not at all (anorexia) 

Panic Disorders

Panic disorder causes recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and may induce a constant fear of another impending attack in you. These attacks are characterised as sudden episodes of intense fear when the level of anxiety is extremely high, triggering severe physical reactions even when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening for the person experiencing them. When these panic attacks occur, you might think you're losing control, trembling, or even having a heart attack. 


Panic disorders tend to occur suddenly, without any prior signs or warnings. Following are some of the symptoms you might experience during panic attacks: 

  • Rapid, pounding heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sense of impending doom or danger
  • Fear of loss of control
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in fingers, palms, and feet

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder, usually diagnosed in children, is when someone experiences persistent and excessive worry about being separated from an attachment figure, such as their parents or a caregiver. Although some extent of separation anxiety is normal in every child, when the stress becomes so excessive that it can impair or hinder their emotional and cognitive development, it might be time to see a psychiatrist.

Some common symptoms of separation anxiety disorder include:

  • Extreme tantrums when separated from attachment figures 
  • Constantly clinging to parents 
  • Refusal to go to school or other gatherings where the caregiver(s) won’t be present 
  • Inability to interact in a healthy manner with other children 
  • Refusing to sleep alone
  • Temper tantrums or violent behaviour 

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

In social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, everyday interactions cause significant anxiety, self-consciousness and embarrassment as you constantly fear being scrutinised or judged negatively by others. Social anxiety can happen in just one specific situation, such as giving presentations at school or work, or in different social situations, like speaking on a stage, attending a social gathering, etc. As a result, the person with anxiety may avoid interacting with others but still feel comfortable with close friends and family. 

Need help?

Seeking professional diagnosis and treatment can do wonders when it comes to managing the symptoms of anxiety disorders. And that is exactly what Rocket Health's team of experienced, non-judgmental mental health practitioners can help you with! Click on the link below to get started.