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Types of Anxiety Disorders – Virtuous Circle Counselling

People experience various emotions throughout the day. However, there are instances when these feelings become too overwhelming and cause some to feel anxious about their surroundings. The emotions may subside, but sometimes they can persist, even without the stressors around.

Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions characterized by prolonged and excessive anxiety and fear. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can be physical, psychological, and behavioral. However, there are many types, and people should know each.

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even routine ones. People with GAD tend always to expect the worst. It can lead to feelings of dread or unease that are hard to shake.

People may also feel on edge, irritable, and unable to concentrate. The condition can be mild, moderate, or severe. It may also accompany other symptoms, such as muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

2. Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear and physical symptoms that may include a pounding or racing heart, sweating, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, tingling or numb hands, chest pain, or stomach pain.

People with panic disorder often worry about when the next attack will happen and actively try to prevent future attacks by avoiding places, situations, or behaviors they associate with panic attacks. It can interfere with daily activities and limit a person’s life.

3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD develops after exposure to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats to a person’s life. Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping. When the symptoms last more than a month, are severe, and disrupt your daily life, it might be PTSD.

Meanwhile, if the symptoms get better after a few weeks and do not get worse, it is called an acute stress reaction, a normal reaction to a horrifying event. The symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, nightmares, and sleeping problems. People with PTSD often feel stressed or frightened even when not in danger.

4. Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is an intense fear of being judged by others and embarrassed or humiliated. It can become too severe that it gets in the way of everyday activities, such as school, work, and other events. It usually starts during the teenage years or early adulthood.

For instance, people may feel nervous when they talk to people, give a speech, or be the center of attention, including being with a group or meeting new people. They may also worry about these things for weeks or months before an event.

5. Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation anxiety disorder is when children or adults feel anxious when they are away from their loved ones, such as parents or guardians. They may feel anxious when they are alone or separated from the people they’re attached to, such as friends or family members.

Separation anxiety disorder usually starts during childhood and continues into adolescence. In adults, it may manifest when they get separated from loved ones. However, it can happen at any age.


Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by fear, worry, and uneasiness. They can be caused by different factors, such as genetics, environment, and brain chemistry. They are treatable, and if you think you have an anxiety disorder, you should see a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Virtuous Circle Counselling offers anxiety counselling in Calgary, helping people recover through therapy. We aim to facilitate change and influence how people can live life to the fullest. Meanwhile, we also offer online cognitive tests for those who might not have the chance to meet for an in-person visit. Speak to a psychologist in Calgary today and learn more about yourself.

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We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.