Anxiety is a common word used to describe everyday stressful situations, such as running late to work, missing a deadline, etc… However, If this feeling is so overwhelming that it makes you incapable of performing daily tasks, you may want to talk to a doctor about the possibility that you may have an Anxiety Disorder. According to the Anxiety And Depression Association of America, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older”. Having an Anxiety Disorder is often mistaken for other illnesses, so it’s extremely important to understand exactly what an Anxiety Disorder is. Anxiety is your body’s natural response to fear, stress, or danger. Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing, it can help you stay alert, and motivate you to complete tasks. Anxiety becomes dangerous to one’s health when you feel constantly overwhelmed, in a consistent state of panic, or when it begins interfering with your personal life, such as work or your relationships.
There is a multitude of different forms of Anxiety Disorder. These forms of disorders cause constant havoc for the individuals who suffer from them. Anxiety Disorders are interconnected conditions rather than an individual disorder, that is why they can differ from person to person. According to the Anxiety And Depression Association of America, the most common forms of anxiety disorder are Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety
Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Specific Phobias, and Persistent Depressive Disorder.
Specific Phobias affect 19 million adults in the United States, which makes up 8.7% of the population. Men have a lower chance of developing this disorder, women are twice more likely to suffer from this. Symptoms usually begin in their early childhood, the average age is 7 years old.Some common phobias are Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), Acrophobia (fear of heights), Aerophobia (fear of flying), etc… Furthermore, Social Anxiety Disorder affects 15 million adults in the U.S. It is common for Social Anxiety Disorder to affect men and women in their early stages of adolescents. The average age that doctors have seen signs of this disorder emerging is 13. People suffering from social anxiety disorder may feel extreme discomfort being around a large group of people. This can interfere greatly with their daily performances such as going to work or going to the grocery store.
Despite different forms of anxiety, they all share one major symptom: persistent or severe fear or worry in situations where most people wouldn’t feel threatened. There’s a broad spectrum of symptoms that occur within these cases from not being able to engage in social interaction to triggering panic attacks in high-stress situations. Symptoms of anxiety range from physical to psychological. Anxiety Disorders are associated with migraines, asthma, and heart disease, among many others.
An individual may suffer from anxiety attacks at any given moment, whereas someone else may get stressed when thinking about giving a speech in front of a group of people. Symptoms to look out for if you think you are experiencing a form of Anxiety Disorder are a pounding heart, sweating, headaches, dizziness, short of breath, shaking or trembling, etc… If your anxiety affects your physical health, your work/relationships, if drugs or alcohol are used to self-medicate, and if it’s causing you to miss out on the joys that life has to offer then you should consider getting help.