The term "anxiety" is often used as a blanket term to cover all anxiety disorders. But the reality is that there are many different types of anxiety, and there are many different ways that you can suffer from their symptoms. This brings into question whether or not it is possible to have more than one anxiety disorder.
When you suffer from more than one mental health disorder at once, it's known as a "comorbid" disorder. Is it possible to have comorbid anxiety disorders?
Understand Your Own Anxiety
Want to know what type of anxiety you're experiencing and what it means for treatment? Find out by taking my free 7-minute anxiety test now.
Types of Anxiety And Differences
One thing that is clear is that anxiety disorders can be very different. Panic disorder is nothing like generalized anxiety disorder, which is nothing like obsessive-compulsive disorder and so on. Make sure you take my free 7-minute anxiety test to find out more about your anxiety and how it works.
So even though these disorders are all called "anxiety," they are very different disorders that share very few symptoms. This brings up an interesting question: can you have more than one anxiety disorder?
Absolutely Yes – Comorbid Anxiety Disorders
It seems as though many people have more than one anxiety disorder, and while psychologists do not always diagnose individuals with more than one disorder, they do acknowledge that someone can suffer from many different forms of anxiety.
One of the best examples of this is social anxiety. Many people with other anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder, have or develop social anxiety. It's also possible for anyone with anxiety to get PTSD, and some people may suffer from some combination of panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder at any time.
It's easy to see why comorbid anxiety disorders are possible. Often a person's most debilitating disorder is the focus of treatment and the type of anxiety they share, but comorbid anxiety is possible.
Other Mental Health Disorders Comorbid With Anxiety
Most other disorders are comorbid with anxiety as well. Depression and anxiety go hand in hand, and other disorders like most personality disorders, ADHD, and more are also known to be comorbid with anxiety. Remember, anxiety is often the result of long-term, persistent stress. Living with any disorder can be very difficult, and cause a lot of stress that may lead to anxiety.
Getting Treatment is Important – And Works
The more anxiety (and other disorders) you experience, the harder your life can feel. But what's interesting about all types of anxiety – as well as most other disorders, including depression – is that they are very treatable. Not every treatment works right away, and you have to continue working on it in the long term, but there is simply no excuse not to seek out treatment and get the help you need.
If you're dealing with more than one anxiety disorder, take my free 7-minute anxiety test now. This test will teach you more information about living with your anxiety and show you how to get help.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Nov 28, 2017.