Is PTSD An Anxiety Disorder?

Firstly, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is actually a subtype of anxiety disorder, with its own anxiety-related symptoms. Overall, PTSD is a reactionary condition that’s developed in response to experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.

PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can manifest simultaneously. This is primarily due to PTSD being a trauma- and stress-related condition that manifests differently from one person to another.

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

There’s more to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) than meets the eye. GAD extends beyond the worrying and fear associated with it, and this is mostly what people feel and experience. Anxiety is described as a feeling of excessive worry about specific situations or events that lasts for an extended period (at least six months).

The anxiety is out of the individual’s control, and there’s almost nothing he can do, but the worry never stops. 

Because just when he stops worrying about a thing (if possible), another thing to worry about comes up again. The worry often affects them so much that it interrupts their daily activity and relationship with people at work and home.

A person can be diagnosed as having GAD if they have at least two of these symptoms:

  • Edginess or restlessness
  • Fatigue or tiring easily
  • Irritability, either internalized or externalized
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Difficulty sleeping or unsatisfying sleep

To receive a diagnosis, the symptoms should not be influenced by other causes or conditions, including prescription drugs, alcohol use, neurological problems, or other medical conditions.

The Relationship Between PTSD and GAD

If six people are experiencing PTSD, there’s the odd that one of them is experiencing GAD, too. There’s no clear-cut reason they’re closely related, but worrying is undoubtedly a common characteristic of PTSD. 

People with PTSD are usually triggered in such a way that they have to give an emotional reaction. Worries can also be triggered beyond the point where they can be kept under wraps. Some individuals use anxiety to cope with other PTSD symptoms.

Often, you hear people dealing with PTSD say that when they worry about other things, they’re distracted from the things that keep them unsettled the most. Worry can give people the distance they need from the emotion or feeling they’re having a hard time facing. 

Another concept surrounding the relationship between PTSD and GAD is that they have the same roots. Since trauma is the original cause of PTSD, it could be that that trigger also leads to GAD.

5 Major Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are five major types of anxiety disorders: 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a disorder that is portrayed by constant anxiety, extreme worry, and tension, even when there’s nothing to make you worry about.

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is another type of anxiety disorder represented by continual, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitious behaviors (compulsions). 

Repetitious behaviors like counting, handwashing, tapping of the foot, cleaning, and other such activities are pulled off to make obsessive thoughts go away or prevent them altogether. 

Unfortunately, these activities only provide temporary relief, and when they aren’t performed, the anxiety gets worse.

  • Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is another kind of anxiety disorder portrayed by sudden and repeated events of intense fear followed by physical symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, abdominal stress, etc.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that a person experiences after exposure to a traumatic event in which extreme physical harm occurred. 

Examples of events that can cause PTSD are accidents, disasters, violent personal assaults, or war. People become triggered when they experience anything similar to their traumatic experience or see, hear or smell something that brings back those traumatic experiences.

  • Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

Social Phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, is an anxiety disorder portrayed by intense anxiety and exaggerated self-consciousness in everyday events. 

Social phobia can only be restricted to one kind of situation, such as fear of drinking or eating where others are or of saying something, both in formal or informal cases. In its worst case, they experience these symptoms even around loved ones.

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