Manage episode 332663286 series 3365587
Anxiety is a mental illness that can impact an individuals daily life. It is the most common mental illness in the U.S, affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. Approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder with most people developing symptoms before age 21. About 12% of people are affected by an anxiety disorder in a given year and between 5-30% are affected at some point in their life. Anxiety disorders occurs about twice as often in women than they do in men, and generally begin before the age of 25. The most common are specific phobia which affects nearly 12% and social anxiety disorder which affects 10% at some point in their life. They affect those between the ages of 15 and 35 the most and become less common after the age of 55. Rates appear to be higher in the United States and Europe. Only about one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment, even though the disorders are highly treatable.
How to define anxiety? Anxiety is an overwhelming long term subjective unpleasant emotion, often accompanied by nervous behavior and symptoms of worries, phobias, physical symptoms such as muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, etc. Anxiety however is not the same as fear, which is a our immediate response to a real life danger and threats, whereas anxiety is the expectation of future threat. Sometimes due to long term exposure to life threatening events, anxiety can be appropriate reactions, but when experienced regularly the individual may suffer from an anxiety disorders.
Acute anxiety refers to sporadic, stressful panic attacks which dramatically influence our life’s. Chronic anxiety on the other hand refers to general - long, drawn out daily symptoms that reduce quality of life of individuals. It is important to note the risk of anxiety has a tendency to transform to depression and possibly even lead to a suicide.
Anxiety causes an individual to be fearful, worried, or stressed about daily activities that we may feel are normal. For me anxiety is an interesting topic. In my 10+ years clinical practice, majority of my patients were diagnosed with anxiety disorders. The diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders has changed rapidly in the past century. Modern medicine has produced diagnostic criteria, pharmaceuticals, and different therapies, increasing public awareness of these conditions.