Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million Americans. Learn more about this common health condition.
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. It’s a normal reaction to stress, which is why you may feel some butterflies in your stomach before you do something that is out of your comfort zone, like speaking in front of a large audience.
For some people, though, feelings of anxiety occur on a daily basis. People who have anxiety disorders may feel frightened, distressed or uneasy for seemingly no apparent reason. Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million Americans each year, making them some of the most common mental illnesses in the country. When left untreated, anxiety disorders can greatly affect a person’s quality of life.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are multiple types of anxiety disorders. Some of the most common include:
- Panic disorder, characterized by panic attacks or sudden feelings of fear that occur without warning.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which may involve thoughts or rituals that seem impossible to control.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which may involve nightmares, flashbacks or serious bouts of anger and/or depression after surviving a traumatic event like war or physical abuse.
- Phobia, which is an extreme yet irrational fear of something or someone that poses little or no danger. A phobia can prevent a person from facing certain objects, people or situations.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GED), which is characterized by chronic worry about routine activities and can be accompanied by physical symptoms like trembling or nausea.
Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are often treated with a combination of medication and therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps patients understand their anxiety and helps them react differently to stressful situations.
If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety or another issue that requires assistance, the Behavioral Health Center at Brandon Regional Medical Center may be able to help. You or your physician can call (813) 653-1065 for more information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also learn more about anxiety disorders and other health conditions at our Health Information library.