Anxiety disorders impact over 40 million people every year within the U.S. Though everyone may experience anxiety from time to time, anxiety disorders cause persistent stress or unease about even daily situations such as socializing with others, driving, or work. Left untreated, anxiety can significantly impact ones’ quality of life and ability to participate in activities that they used to enjoy.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by strong feelings of tension, worry, physical changes such as an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. People with anxiety disorders have constant intrusive thoughts or concerns.
Anxiety disorders come in a variety of forms from general anxiety to more specific conditions such as social anxiety or panic disorders. Anxiety develops from several compounding factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Many patients who are diagnosed with anxiety may also have co-occurring illnesses such as substance abuse, depression, or other mental health conditions.
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Nervousness, restlessness, and feeling like you cannot relax
- Feelings of danger, panic, and dread
- Rapid heart rate and breathing or hyperventilation
- Increased or heavy sweating
- Muscle twitching or trembling
- Weakness or lethargy
- Difficulty focusing
- Digestive problems
- Avoidant behavior
- Obsessions about certain ideas