The taboo around mental health has, in large part, lifted lately, which is undoubtedly a major relief to many. However, for a long time, ‘depressed’ was the blanket term used to refer to most people who experienced a general mental health issue. While depression is a serious concern, it’s not the only one. Anxiety disorders are every bit as common, but much less understood.
What is anxiety disorder?
Anxiety disorders, rather than a single disorder, is a family disorder that aren’t just synonymous with the usual feelings of nerves, anxiety, or fear when they are warranted. Excessive fear or overly anxious reactions, including panic attacks, are common forms.
There are various types of disorders, too, such as phobias, social anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and more. They are typically related to issues in how we respond to stress, and as such, anger disorders are often included among them.
How common are anxiety disorders?
One of the reasons that it’s so worth talking about these disorders are the statistics. Statistics from leading anxiety and depression study committees find that roughly 1-in-5 people are affected each and every year. They’re responsible for roughly 1-in-4 days taken off sick. However, our language around them is so little developed. As a result, that means many people experiencing them may not even be aware of the fact.
The risk is even higher in certain populations due to a co-morbidity with them. This means people with conditions like sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, headaches, and the like are also more likely susceptible.
What can be done about them?
The good news is that there’s a lot that can be done about it. Teaching coping strategies such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioral techniques, and meditation can be helpful.
Medication is widely used to treat anxiety. However, it’s often recommended that it be paired with a therapeutic or counseling approach. There are centers dedicated to the treatment for anxiety disorders. If you’re concerned that you might be experiencing an anxiety disorder, the best way to find out which treatment is the best for you is to start talking to a doctor about it.
The consequences of untreated disorders
Anxiety needs to be treated. There is too much evidence of the consequences it can have on your life. Besides a generally lower quality of life, including panic attacks, people who have them are also more likely to experience depression, substance abuse, physical illness (due to the weakening of the immune system), and even suicidal ideation. Stress as a result can also greatly affect your sleep quality, appetite, libido, and many other realms of your daily life. As such, it’s never worth leaving the matter unaddressed.
A better understanding of anxiety disorders can help us see the problems we’re not addressing, be it with loved ones or in ourselves. With the information above, hopefully, you can find a way forward with a better understanding.