What is Anxiety?
We all feel anxious sometimes when life throws stressful situations our way—a big job interview, a public speech, or an important test. However, people with anxiety disorders tend to experience intense fear, apprehension, and dread when faced with such everyday events. Anxiety can reach such intense levels that people experience a panic attack—sudden feelings of intense fear and worry combined with overwhelming physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, and more.
Who has Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in America. Every year, 40 million American adults—over 18% of the population—experience anxiety. The condition is more common in women, who are almost twice as likely as men to develop anxiety disorders during their lifetime. Anxiety also affects nearly 1 in 3 teens ages 13-18, and research shows that number is rising. The condition is also seen more commonly in people with ADD/ADHD than in the general population.
What are the Core Symptoms of Anxiety?
In people with anxiety disorders, their feelings are generally out of proportion to the actual situation. This can get in the way of your life, making it a challenge to handle work or school assignments, difficult to maintain personal relationships, and tough to parent effectively.
Anxiety can reach such intense levels that people experience a panic attack—sudden feelings of intense fear and worry combined with overwhelming physical symptoms, such as heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, and more. Panic attacks tend to come on suddenly but can linger long after the initial stressful situation has passed.
What Causes Anxiety?
Experts have identified multiple causes of anxiety. Research suggests that anxiety has roots in biological issues (such as head injuries, hormonal imbalances, blood sugar issues, drug abuse, medication side effects, genetics, and more), psychological issues (such as experiencing emotional trauma), and social issues (such as stress from work or home life).
Untreated anxiety can steal your life and increase the risk of:
Physical ailments (e.g. colds)
Suicidal thoughts and behavior