According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 million American adults, or 18% of the adult population age 18 or older, suffer from an anxiety disorder in a given year.
The five types of anxiety disorders which are the most prevalent are:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms vary by disorder, but in general may include: feelings of excessive worry, fear, or uneasiness; numbness or muscle tension; repeated thoughts; ritualistic behaviors; uncontrollable anxiety; other physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, pounding heart, dizziness.
One way to think about the symptoms of a mental illness is usually there are both some symptoms that ADD something that wasn't there, and other symptoms that TAKE AWAY.
For example, generalized anxiety may add a pounding heart, inability to sleep, and headaches - and at the same it may take away your sense of humor, enjoyment, or ability to concentrate.
This is a double-edged sword, so to speak, of many mental illnesses. It is this adding & taking away across physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that makes mental illnesses as, or more, disabling than many physical ailments.
Check back for next week's follow-up post, including resources to help treat anxiety disorders. Treatments can include self-help techniques, cognitive-behavior therapy, medication, or a combination of these. An anxiety disorder is a treatable illness & many people have found that anxiety disorders respond well to treatment.
~ Oriana at Erasing the Distance