Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population). Even though it is such a common occurrence in adults; many people, including those who suffer from it, do not fully understand it.
What Does Anxiety Cause?
Someone who suffers with anxiety will have feelings of worry, dread, fear, or extreme stress. Of course, everyone experiences some type of stress from time to time. Whether it is cause by an upcoming meeting, presentation, or worry. These are common occurrences and everyone is expected to experience; but when does a common occurrence turn into a disorder in need or professional help or treatment?
Living with an anxiety disorder will actually effect the way we think, act, and even the way we live. Some people have phobias they know are illogical, but cannot shake the anxious feelings when put in the position to face them; such as an irrational fear of flying. These phobias can be so severe that we may even avoid the situation all together, which can impact our day to day lives as well as the lives of our family members.
When is it Time to Ask for Help?
Those who have had anxiety get worse and worse over the years; or who feel their anxious feelings have been persistent and affecting their lives, should seek some form of help. If these symptoms have been seriously impacting your work, relationships, sleep, or appetite, you should seek help immediately. One thing we always have to remember is that everyone needs help at one point or another. The good thing is there are people who are trained to be able to help you with your specific problems, but they need you to take the first step.
After you are properly diagnosed, you can begin treatment right away. These treatments can vary from counseling a few times a month, to medication which will help reduce your anxious feelings.
In the end, no one can avoid stress all together, and no one should want to. We must remember there is “good” stress which can actually help us by getting things done quickly, meeting deadlines, and warning us when there’s danger. However, when “bad” stress is impacting our lives, we must find the proper way to control it by paying closer attention to our symptoms, making appropriate lifestyle changes, and exploring treatment options.
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