What is Anxiety?

Article submitted by Angelina Zarokian

Anxiety is just a part of life, but anxiety disorders can feel debilitating. Anxiety that feels persistent, to the point where it can feel unbearable, creates an excessive and irrational dread that can stay with someone. These disorders are real medical effects, and they have serious consequences for your health and wellbeing.

What is an Anxiety Disorder

Disorders refer to specific psychiatric problems, like excessive fear or worrying constantly, all categorized under the umbrella for generalized anxiety disorders. You may suffer from panic attacks or a fear of the outside. Large groups may make you feel anxious as well. Other phobias have also been connected to anxiety, so speak with a professional if you find your life complicated by anxiety.

Some Facts

Nearly 40 million US citizens suffer from some form of anxiety throughout a given year. There are multiple triggers for this anxiety, some suffering from seasonal swings. However, only about a third of those who suffer globally will ever seek treatment. These issues are treatable, and prevention is possible, but only if patients seek help.

In fact, anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Those who suffer from anxiety disorders are up to five times more likely to visit a hospital, and six times more likely to find themselves hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.

Depression and anxiety are linked to one another in certain cases, and it’s not uncommon for someone with anxiety to suffer from depression.

Disorders by Type

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, tends to effect women more than men. It’s a persistent and excessive type of worry, and usually involves a number of problems like work, money, family, and other issues.

Panic disorders appear to be spontaneous, but are typically linked to anxiety the person feels. This tension builds up into an anxiety or panic attack. These attacks tend to interfere with work and life, and can contribute to agoraphobia that keeps anxious individuals from visiting public places.

Anxiety is also linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder and to PTSD. Sometimes, anxiety can contribute to a physical illness. It can make treatment or recovery difficult, so it’s essential that doctors treat both the mind and body.

Final Thoughts

If you suffer from anxiety, don’t be afraid to seek help. Its symptoms are preventable and the illness is treatable. Anxiety is a part of life, but persistent anxiety is a sign that something is wrong.

1 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

2 https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad

3 https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/agoraphobia

About the Author: Angelina Zarokian currently works as a Psychological Assistant and is a Psy-D graduand at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. You can contact her on her instagram page: Angelina Zarokian. Please note that Angelina Zarokian is not accepting any clients, since she is not yet a licensed clinician.