Anxiety – causes,types,symptoms and treatment

Anxiety is viewed as a natural condition but it can become a disorder if it involves persistent worry and fear about everyday life.

Anxiety - causes, symptoms and treatment

It is grouped as a type of mental illness

The common cause of this disease is stress.


There are 5 major types of anxiety/anxiety disorders and they include;

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder(GAD)

Generalized anxiety disorder is among the types of anxiety and is thought to be severe and it interferes with daily activities.

This is characterized by being constantly worried, being restless and having trouble with concentration.

People with GAD are always concerned about money, family, work, and health. They can also show symptoms of anxiety like inability to control their worry

Obsessive-compulsive disorder(OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder involves having excessive thoughts which later lead to repetitive behaviors.

There’s no effective cure for this condition, but treatment can be administered to reduce its effects.

OCD is divided into 4 types;

  • Contamination and washing
  • Doubts about accidental harm and checking
  • Just Right OCD
  • Unacceptable taboo thoughts and mental rituals

Contamination and washing

A person with this type of OCD is excessively concerned about illness and disease threats. They are always changing clothes and feel very bad when they come in contact with contaminants or when they meet unkempt people. The people with this disorder can even demarcate some places in the home to be specifically for them alone so that other people don’t contaminate.

They have the tendency of avoiding public toilets and public bathrooms. Whenever these people witness dirt on their clothes or around them they can resort to washing and cleaning until everything is clean. If you are not very keen you might not know if this person has an anxiety related disorder because you will just think they like cleanliness.

Doubts About Accidental Harm and Checking

People with this type of OCD always receive intrusive images, impulses, and fears related to the possibility of them hurting others intentionally. They always feel responsible. These people,s can involve the possibility of them hitting others on the right or forgetting the gas when it is on and fires break up and kill people. All these are just their own hallucination like symptoms. These people always have feelings of doubt even if everything is already set correctly.

Just Right OCD

OCD individuals with this type of OCD always tend to repetitive arrange, organize and line up things until they become satisfied. They hate seeing anything being disorganized. They can even just start arranging books on their desk yet the books are just ok or even arranging and rearranging utensils until they meet certain expectations.

Unacceptable Taboo Thoughts and Mental Rituals

Have you ever witnessed someone talking to themselves? If yes, did you take the time to know which disease they are suffering from? Those people are actually suffering from this disorder. People with this disorder tend to take several precautionary measures to help them manage the effects of OCD. Most people who have OCD know that their thoughts are dangerous and therefore they can develop some behaviors to help them curtail the effects. The methods those people use to control mental intrusion can involve;

  • Mental ritualization which involves arguing with oneself
  • Neutralizing which involves canceling out bad thoughts mentally and replacing with a good thought or even involving themselves in deep payer and confession
  • Always reviewing one’s behavior and seeking reassurance from others.
  • Avoiding some behavioral triggers

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is also one of the types of anxiety and it involves having sudden intense feelings of fear or having a perception that something dangerous is going to happen.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety that is triggered by witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event. Symptoms can involve experiencing nightmares, flashbacks, and depressed mood.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD)

SAD is also called social phobia. It is an intense and persistent fear of being judged by others. It can affect school, work, and other personal daily activities.

Symptoms can involve having fear of getting judged by others, getting embarrassed in public and always being concerned about the possibility of hurting someone.


Possible causes of anxiety can be;

  • Genetics – This condition can be carried and transferred in genes. According to many researchers, the conclusion is that anxiety can actually be caused by genetic or hereditary factors.
  • Environmental factors – Environmental factors are seen as the main causes of anxiety. They include, difficulties at work, family stresses and, even relationship issues. These factors contribute immensely to anxiety.
  • Medical conditions – Suffering from certain medical conditions such as heart diseases and Down’s syndrome can trigger is among the causes of anxiety.
  • Quitting certain drugs – Stopping the use of certain drugs such as alcohol and tranquilizers suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms and one of them will be anxiety.

The above discussed causes of anxiety might not be conclusive because here are very many contributors to anxiety.


Symptoms of anxiety include;

  • Restlessness
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Increased breathing
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Increased irritability
  • Difficulties in concentrating
  • Feeling isolated

The symptoms of anxiety experienced might also differ from the ones listed above but the difference will not be much. The symptoms listed above are the most common in most victims.


Several therapies are recommended for treatment of anxiety. A person can decide to dwell into one or even use a combination of them.

Treatment of anxiety can involve;

  • Medication – Not all people can take medication for treatment of anxiety therefore you must take medication only after getting the doctor’s prescription. Doctors can recommend the use of antidepressants or any other appropriate drugs. This type of treatment can be very appropriate for panic disorders, general disorders and, social disorders.
  • Psychotherapy – Some doctors might put their patients on counseling sessions. This will help in reducing the effects such as social phobia and separation disorder.
  • Self remedies – This includes exercising, relaxing and employing stress management measures. This method can also be effective in the treatment of anxiety if observed carefully.



There are several measures that can be used to reduce the effects of anxiety. They include;

  • Reducing caffeine consumption
  • Do exercise
  • Get enough sleep
  • Always talk to family members who are supportive

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