Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the United States for both children and adults.
We’ve all felt nervous or anxious at times – before taking a test, before a job interview, making an important decision or preparing for a speech. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps us prepare for significant events or warns us to get out of harm’s way or take action. But, unlike the relatively mild and brief anxiety we might experience in these situations, anxiety disorders are much different.
Articles from Anxiety: Insights Magazine
How Anxiety Effects People Differently
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- General anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder (panic attacks)
- Social anxiety disorder
- Substance or medication-induced anxiety
- Anxiety induced by a medical condition
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Selective mutism
- School refusal
- College Students & Anxiety
- Women & Anxiety
- Older Adults & Anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
In any given year, an estimated 18% of adults, 20% of teens and 13% of children ages 8 to 15 have anxiety disorders causing such distress that it interferes with day-to-day living.
Several recent studies have shown the chance of having at least one anxiety disorder during childhood ranges from 6 to 20%, with girls experiencing more anxiety disorders than boys. People with anxiety disorders suffer constant and overwhelming worry and fear. Unfortunately, only about one-third of adults and less than one-fifth of children and teens with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.
While the exact cause of anxiety disorders is not known, they – like other forms of mental illness – are not the result of a character flaw or personal weakness or poor parenting. Scientists are learning that anxiety disorders have a biological basis and are caused by a combination of factors including brain chemistry, genetics, environmental factors, personality characteristics and life events. Most often, anxiety disorders begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood.
The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, and the vast majority of people with an anxiety disorder can be helped with professional care.
Although treatment must be tailored specifically for each individual, the most successful treatments include a combination of therapy and medication.
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