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Anxiety Disorders Are Real

Anxiety disorders, which have some symptoms in common with major depression and sleep dysfunctions, develop from a complex set of factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Over 20 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, which are treatable, yet only about one-third receive any treatment.

 

Anxiety disorders can often be effectively controlled with psychotherapy and medications. Psycho-social treatments used in the treatment of anxiety disorders include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, anxiety management and relaxation therapies, and other psychotherapies. Drugs used to treat anxiety disorders include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta blockers, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) to name a few, including newer atypicals. Combination therapies are often utilized for best results. Misdiagnosis and under-treatment of anxiety disorders costs the nation billions of dollars annually.

 

Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, according to "The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders," a study commissioned by the ADAA and based on data gathered by the association and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. More than $22.84 billion is associated with the repeated use of healthcare services, as those with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses. People with an untreated anxiety disorder are three-to-five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than non-sufferers.

 

Not all anxiety is alike, and significant disorders are many:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD is characterized by excessive, unrealistic worry that lasts six months or more; in adults, the anxiety may focus on issues such as health, money, or career. In addition to chronic worry, GAD symptoms include trembling, muscular aches, insomnia, abdominal upsets, dizziness, and irritability.  Read more...

 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): In OCD, individuals are plagued by persistent, recurring thoughts (obsessions) that reflect exaggerated anxiety or fears; typical obsessions include worry about being contaminated or fears of behaving improperly or acting violently. The obsessions may lead an individual to perform a ritual or routine (compulsions) such as washing hands, repeating phrases or hoarding to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsession.  Read more.. Read more..

 

Panic Disorder: People with panic disorder suffer severe attacks of panic-which may make them feel like they are having a heart attack or are going crazy for no apparent reason. Symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, sweating, trembling, tingling sensations, feeling of choking, fear of dying, fear of losing control, and feelings of unreality. Panic disorder often occurs with agoraphobia, in which people are afraid of having a panic attack in a place from which escape would be difficult, so they avoid these places. Read more...

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD can follow an exposure to a traumatic event such as a sexual or physical assault, witnessing a death, the unexpected death of a loved one, or natural disaster. There are three main symptoms associated with PTSD: "reliving" of the traumatic event (such as flashbacks and nightmares); avoidance behaviors (such as avoiding places related to the trauma) and emotional numbing (detachment from others); and physiological arousal such difficulty sleeping, irritability or poor concentration.    Read more...

 

Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia): Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is characterized by extreme anxiety about being judged by others or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or ridicule. This intense anxiety may lead to avoidance behavior. Physical symptoms associated with this disorder include heart palpitations, faintness, blushing and profuse sweating.  Read more...

 

Specific phobias: People with specific phobias suffer from an intense fear reaction to a specific object or situation (such as spiders, dogs, or heights); the level of fear is usually inappropriate to the situation, and is recognized by the sufferer as being irrational. This inordinate fear can lead to the avoidance of common, everyday situations.  Read more...

 

 

 
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