What is anxiety?
Anxiety disorders is known to be the most common mental illness in the United States in adults ages 18 and older (ADAA). According to the American Psychological Association anxiety “is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure,” and is considered “a future-oriented, long-acting response broadly focused on a diffuse threat,” (Anxiety, n.d.).
Types of Anxiety
There are various types of anxiety disorders that include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder – Excessive and persistent worry about everyday factors like chores, appointments, family health, and job responsibilities. This can interfere with daily activities and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, fatigue, trouble sleeping, etc.
- Social anxiety disorder – Significant discomfort and worry when it comes to social interactions. People with this order fear they will be embarrassed, rejected, or humiliated in front of others. Meeting new people or public speaking are some examples of social anxiety.
- Separation anxiety disorder – Persistent fear and worry about losing a specific person when they are not present. This feeling often occurs at a young age but may carry through adulthood.
- Panic disorder – This is a combination of psychological and physical distress where panic attacks are the main symptom of this order. Panic attacks happen as a response to an unexpected or feared object or reason. People who have panic attacks feel that they are having a heart attack or some type of life-threatening condition.
- Agoraphobia – The fear of being in a situation where they have difficulty leaving or escaping. In addition, they fear that they will not be able to escape an embarrassing situation or get help. Some examples of situations are being in open or enclosed spaces, using public transportation, or standing in line or being in a crowd.
- Other phobias – Anxiety also includes other phobias where a person has a persistent and excessive fear of a specific situation, activity, or object. This includes fear of spiders, flying, heights, public speaking, etc.
There are multiple symptoms of anxiety that someone may experience:
- Heart racing
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty making eye contact
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping or eating
- Feeling of choking
The risk factors vary based on the different types of anxiety disorders. Some of these risk factors include: physical health condition, exposure to stressful environmental events, genetics, etc.
Treatments and Prevention
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Support groups
- Stress-management techniques
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-Written by Karen Manalac
Anxiety. (n.d.). Https://Www.Apa.Org. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety
Facts & statistics | anxiety and depression association of america, adaa. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2022, from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics
What are Anxiety Disorders? (2021, June). American Psychiatric Association; Philip R. Muskin. https://psychiatry.org/patients-families/anxiety-disorders/what-are-anxiety-disorders#:~:text=Anxiety%20is%20a%20normal%20reaction,involve%20excessive%20fear%20or%20anxiety