What Are the Different Types of Anxiety?

Silhouette of troubled person head.

Is Anxiety Normal?

Anxiety and panic are experienced by everyone to a certain degree. Concern and, in some cases, fear can be healthy and beneficial. We are biologically hard-wired to experience concern and fear when we are confronted with a challenge, a problem or danger.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) about 18 percent of U.S. adults will experience anxiety.

When Does Anxiety Become a Disorder?

The short answer is that anxiety is often considered a disorder when the anxiety and fears impact your everyday life. People with severe anxiety tend to become overwhelmed by their emotions and often cope by avoiding situations and experiences that trigger overwhelming emotions. This can almost cause a type of paralysis where most actions feel like they may lead to emotions that are overwhelming. When your anxiety impacts your health, relationships or work, you may want to seek help.

What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorder?

The entire list of disorders is not limited to the bullet points below, but these are some of the general categories of anxiety disorder that therapy can help with.

  • General Anxiety Disorder: Persistence is the keyword. When you feel persistent worry or anxious despite everything you do, you could be experiencing General Anxiety Disorder. Many who experience General Anxiety Disorder have a constant sense that something bad is going to happen.
  • Panic Disorder: Sudden is the keyword. Panic Disorder is defined by sudden repeated episodes of feeling intense anxiety and fear. This feeling usually transfers to physical symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, pounding rapid heart-rate.
  • Specific Phobias: Fear is the keyword. Common phobias you may be familiar with are fear of spiders, fear of snakes, fear of heights and fear of flying. These objects or situations feel intrusive and distressing.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Embarrassment and judgment are the keywords. Another word is rejection. A person experiencing Social Anxiety Disorder avoids social situations. For some eye contact or a greeting is overwhelming.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Routines or rituals are the keywords. The two parts are Obsessive and Compulsive. When you have persistent uncontrollable thoughts is the Obsessive part, reacting with routines and rituals is the Compulsive Often portrayed as hand washing or turning a light switch off an exact amount of times—every time.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Trauma is the keyword. Made more aware by the trauma soldiers face in war this anxiety disorder is not limited to battlefields. Traumatization can happen from any experience that is extremely stressful and leaves you feeling helpless or emotionally out of control. Trauma can result in flashbacks, nightmares or frightening thoughts during the day.

How Does Therapy Help with Anxiety Disorders?

The biggest benefit to a therapist is identifying the disorder and the cause of anxiety. Therapy is a collaborative process. It is an opportunity for both you and your therapist to have a better understanding of yourself.

What Can I Expect from a Therapist?

Expect a lot of questions on your first visit. A Therapist is trained to diagnose anxiety disorders and teach patients healthier, more effective ways to cope. They will need to spend a lot of time learning about you to get to the root of your anxiety. You will also gain new skills to cope with your anxiety and have the ability to practice these new skills outside of the sessions. Anxiety disorders are very treatable. The majority of patients who suffer from anxiety are able to reduce or eliminate symptoms after several (or fewer) months of psychotherapy, and many patients notice improvement after just a few sessions.

Do I Need Insurance to see a Therapist?

No. In fact, at Mindful Healing we accept clients on a sliding scale. We are currently accepting clients for our sliding scale rates.


If you live in Portland or the Portland area and want information or help with Anxiety Disorder,