What Are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are the most common of emotional disorders and affect more than 25 million Americans.
Anxiety Disorders look different in different people. Sometimes people experience:
- Feelings of overwhelming panic and fear
- Uncontrollable obsessive thoughts
- Painful, intrusive memories
- Recurring nightmares
- Physical symptoms like feeling sick to your stomach, “butterflies” in your stomach, a pounding heart, being easily startled, and muscle tension. Anxiety disorders are different from normal feelings of nervousness. Without treatment, people can begin to avoid situations that make them anxious. This can be very disabling. They can also become depressed and may try to use alcohol or drugs to feel better. Ultimately, their relationships, job, or school performance can suffer.
Although each anxiety disorder is different, most respond well to some combination of psychotherapy and medication.
These treatments can be given alone or in combination. Treatment can give significant relief from symptoms, but not always a complete cure.
There are several effective medications and psychotherapies.
Unfortunately, people with anxiety disorders don’t always seek help. They don’t realize that they have an illness that can be effectively treated. People might also fear how other people will react to their seeking help. If you or someone you know has any of the symptoms it would be a good idea to check with your family physician, a psychiatrist, or another mental health professional.