11 Facts About Anxiety

  1. Variations of anxiety include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), agoraphobia, specific phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
     
  2. Anxiety affects a sufferer physically as well as mentally. Some physical symptoms, especially during a panic attack, include shortness of breath, shaking, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, dizzy spells, and more.
     
  3. Surpassing even depression, anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. It’s estimated that approximately 10 percent of teenagers and 40 percent of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder of some kind.
     
  4. Despite its high level of treatability through therapy and/or medication, two-thirds of adults with anxiety do not receive treatment. Teenagers with anxiety receive treatment even less frequently – only one in five teen sufferers do.
     
  5. Biological factors contributing to anxiety are still being studied, but brain scans of people suffering with various anxiety disorders have often shown evidence of chemical imbalances; for example, cerebral glucose metabolism appears to differ significantly among those who suffer from OCD and those who don’t.
     
  6. Statistically, women are more commonly afflicted by anxiety disorders than men.
     
  7. Rather than being simple fears, phobias are seriously debilitating, intense feelings of panic that cause sufferers to go to great lengths to avoid encountering the subject of their phobia, such as heights or tightly enclosed spaces. Agoraphobia is the fear of crowds or wide-open spaces, or other situations that are perceived as difficult to escape.
     
  8. Contrary to popular belief, war veterans are not the only ones who suffer from PTSD. Others who commonly experience post-traumatic anxiety, including flashbacks, are survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, accidents, or natural disasters.
     
  9. Closely related to OCD are various “manias,” or compulsions, which include, among others, pyromania, kleptomania, and trichotillomania. These are, respectively, the uncontrollable, continuous urges to start fires, steal things, and pull out one’s hair, eyebrows, or eyelashes. All of these urges can be as debilitating as OCD itself in severe cases.
     
  10. Those who suffer from anxiety are prone to suffering from depression simultaneously.
     
  11. Although anxiety disorders can be triggered by extended environmental stress or traumatic life events, anyone can be afflicted with this form of mental illness.

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Sources: Anxiety and Depression Association of America, National Institute of Mental Health, WebMD