What is anxiety?
Do you constantly worry about daily activities or encounters? Do you experience fear in situations that are beyond your control? If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as anxiety. Anxiety disorders may negatively impact a person’s life as their fear may be out of proportion to the actual event, which may cause the person to avoid places or situations.
How common are anxiety disorders?
Having some minor anxiety is very common at some point in our lives. This may include being anxious about a new job or trying to make a major decision. However, when anxiety is persistent or uncontrollable, it can begin to impact a person’s quality of life. This is when it is considered a mental illness that may require medical attention.
Who suffers from this type of disorder?
Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States. Over 40 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of anxiety annually. Anxiety can begin as early as childhood and progress throughout that person’s life. 8% of children are diagnosed with anxiety every year, and most people who have this mental illness are diagnosed by the time they are 21.
What are the different types of anxiety disorders?
There are several types of anxiety disorders that exist. Some of the more common ones include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: extreme worry and fear regarding minor everyday routine events. This type of anxiety may be hard to manage and has physical manifestations. It must be present for at least six months to be diagnosed.
- Social anxiety disorder: involves avoiding certain social situations due to extreme fear of judgment from others or self-consciousness. It may manifest itself in various situations but is most commonly seen in school or work environments.
- Specific phobias: are seen when extreme fear or anxiety occurs when exposed to a particular object or situation. It may also cause panic attacks.
- Separation anxiety: is usually seen in children and is related to separation from their parents or those with an attachment to them. This can also occur in adults. It is considered a disorder when it negatively impacts the person's ability to function without a loved one being present.
- Panic disorder: involves sudden episodes of extreme fear and worry that can occur within minutes- known as panic attacks. These attacks may cause someone to avoid situations to prevent these episodes.
Many other anxiety disorders may also need medical attention from a mental healthcare provider.