Types of Anxiety Disorders
Mental health professionals have divided anxiety disorders into seven major categories. Each category has its own set of characteristic signs and symptoms. Following are brief descriptions of the disorders.
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Body Focused Repetitive Behaviours. Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours, or BFRBs, are a cluster of habitual behaviours that include hair pulling (called Trichotillomania), skin picking (called Skin Excoriation), nail biting, nose picking, and lip or cheek biting. In both Trichotillomania and Skin Excoriation, the individual experiences ongoing and repetitive engagement in either pulling out of one’s hair or skin picking (dependent on the disorder), resulting in noticeable hair loss, or skin abrasions or lesions. This occurs despite extensive efforts to stop these behaviours. In both disorders there is significant impairment or disruption in routine life functioning for the individual.
Selective Mutism. Selective mutism is a childhood anxiety disorder that is diagnosed when a child consistently does not speak in some situations, but speaks comfortably in other situations. These children are capable of speaking yet are unable to speak in certain social situations where there is a demand to speak, such as at school, at dance class, at soccer practice, or at the corner store. In other situations, these same children may speak openly with others and may even be considered a “chatterbox”.