Is anxiety a mental illness or disorder?
Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives. But anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective treatments are available. Treatment helps most people lead normal productive lives.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). People with GAD worry about ordinary issues such as health, money, work, and family. But their worries are excessive, and they have them almost every day for at least 6 months.
Myth: Anxiety isn't a “real” medical problem.
Fact: Anxiety disorders are a type of mental illness based on extreme fears. Feelings of anxiety include fear, worry and nervousness. Experiencing some anxiety from time to time is normal for everyone.
Anxiety becomes a disorder when it's irrational, excessive and when it interferes with a person's ability to function in daily life. Anxiety disorders include: Generalised anxiety disorder. Social phobias – fear of social situations.
Anxiety disorder due to a medical condition includes symptoms of intense anxiety or panic that are directly caused by a physical health problem. Generalized anxiety disorder includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events — even ordinary, routine issues.
Some amount of anxiety in your life is normal, even healthy. But if that anxiety persists and interferes with your day, there are ways to cope. Anxiety is a normal response to stressors and can even be healthy, experts say.
You Could Still Have 'Subconscious' Anxiety. Living with anxiety doesn't always mean fixating on specific fears. Many people with generalized anxiety disorder do notice their thoughts center on current sources of distress or worry. Yet others experience anxiety less consciously.
Anxiety can become a mental health problem if it impacts your ability to live your life as fully as you want to. For example, it may be a problem if: your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time. your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation.
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
GAD is the most common type of anxiety disorder. The main symptom of GAD is excessive worrying about different activities and events. You may feel anxious a lot of the time if you have GAD.
Most researchers conclude that anxiety is genetic but can also be influenced by environmental factors. In other words, it's possible to have anxiety without it running in your family. There is a lot about the link between genes and anxiety disorders that we don't understand, and more research is needed.
What happens in the brain with anxiety disorder?
Anxiety happens when a part of the brain, the amygdala, senses trouble. When it senses threat, real or imagined, it surges the body with hormones (including cortisol, the stress hormone) and adrenaline to make the body strong, fast and powerful.
For people with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder. ...
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ...
- Panic Disorder. ...
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ...
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)
Stress. Daily stressors like traffic jams or missing your train can cause anyone anxiety. But long-term or chronic stress can lead to long-term anxiety and worsening symptoms, as well as other health problems. Stress can also lead to behaviors like skipping meals, drinking alcohol, or not getting enough sleep.
- Heart Problems. 1/15. These can spike your heart and breathing rates the same way anxiety does. ...
- Asthma. 2/15. ...
- Diabetes. 3/15. ...
- Hyperthyroidism. 4/15. ...
- Sleep Apnea. 5/15. ...
- Adrenal Dysfunction. 6/15. ...
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) 7/15. ...
- Electrolyte Imbalance. 8/15.
There are several symptoms that could be mistaken for anxiety. If your blood sugar drops too low, it can cause you to sweat and feel shaky, which may be confused with anxiety. If your thyroid gland is overactive, you can sweat excessively and feel restless and nervous.
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.
The answer is it depends on the person. An anxiety disorder can last anywhere from a few months to many years. It will go away completely for some, and for others, it may be a lifelong condition to treat.
An anxiety disorder can last anywhere from a few months to many years. It will go away completely for some, and for others, it may be a lifelong condition to treat.
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life.
Can you recover from anxiety disorder?
Recovery is possible with appropriate treatment such as exposure therapy, attention training, and a range of anxiety management techniques that can help you manage your symptoms. You can learn the following strategies yourself (using books or taking courses, for example) or you can consult with a trained professional.
Anxiety disorders are very treatable. Most patients who suffer from anxiety are able to reduce or eliminate symptoms after several (or fewer) months of psychotherapy, and many patients notice improvement after just a few sessions.