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Anxiety Disorders

It ‘s okay to feel anxious here and there. It’s a normal emotion. We feel nervous when we are faced with a difficult decision, before taking a test, or problems at work. Anxiety disorders are different. A lot different. They can cause such suffering that it interferes with your capacity to lead a normal healthy life.

It is a serious mental illness where worry and fear are constant and overwhelming. But with treatment, many people can manage those feelings and get back to a fulfilling life.

Facts about Anxiety Disorders

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population.
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
  • Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill.
  • People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
anxiety disorders, stressed elderly woman

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Possible Causes of Anxiety Disorders

  • stress at work
  • problems from school
  • conflicts in a personal relationship such as marriage
  • financial stress
  • stress from an emotional trauma such as the death of a loved one
  • stress from a serious medical illness
  • side effect of medication
  • use of an illicit drug, such as cocaine
  • symptom of a medical illness (such as heart attack, heat stroke, hypoglycemia)
  • lack of oxygen in circumstances as diverse as high altitude sickness, emphysema, or pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the vessels of the lung)

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

  • an inability to relax
  • difficulty concentrating or focusing
  • trouble falling asleep and remaining asleep
  • experiencing intense anxiety
  • hot flashes
  • recognizing the anxiety is too intense compared to the situation
  • being easily startled
  • fatigue
  • chronic irritability
  • feeling the need to urinate frequently
  • headaches
  • muscle tension
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • twitching
  • breathlessness

Not all people suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder will experience all of these symptoms. Individuals can display different symptoms at different times and to different degrees. This is why a professional evaluation is necessary for an accurate diagnosis.Generalized Anxiety Disorder can also exacerbate other health conditions that are not directly linked to anxiety disorder. People suffering from heart problems, digestive problems, substance abuse or other mental conditions, such as depression, can see a worsening of symptoms after the onset of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

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