It ‘s okay to feel anxious here and there. It’s a normal emotion. We feel nervous when we are faced with a difficult decision, before taking a test, or problems at work. Anxiety disorders are different. A lot different. They can cause such suffering that it interferes with your capacity to lead a normal healthy life. It is a serious mental illness where worry and fear are constant and overwhelming. But with treatment, many people can manage those feelings and get back to a fulfilling life.
Facts about Anxiety Disorders
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness;
- Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment;
- People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalised for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders;
- Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
Possible Causes of Anxiety Disorders
- Stress at work;
- Problems in school;
- Conflicts in a personal relationship;
- Financial stress;
- Stress from an emotional trauma;
- Stress from a serious medical illness;
- Side effect of medication;
- Use of an illicit drug, such as cocaine;
- Symptom of a medical illness (such as heart attack, heat stroke, hypoglycemia);
- Lack of oxygen in circumstances as diverse as high altitude sickness, emphysema, or pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the vessels of the lung).
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
- An inability to relax;
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing;
- Trouble falling asleep and remaining asleep;
- Experiencing intense anxiety;
- Hot flushes;
- Recognising the anxiety is too intense compared to the situation;
- Being easily startled;
- Chronic irritability;
- Feeling the need to urinate frequently;
- Muscle tension;
Not all people suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder will experience all of these symptoms. Individuals can display different symptoms at different times and to different degrees. This is why a professional evaluation is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Generalised Anxiety Disorder can also exacerbate other health conditions that are not directly linked to anxiety disorder. People suffering from heart problems, digestive problems, substance abuse or other mental conditions, such as depression, can see a worsening of symptoms after the onset of Generalised Anxiety Disorder.