Anxiety disorders are the most common type of emotional disorders – in fact, more than 25 million Americans have some form of anxiety disorder! Persons with anxiety disorders often have accompanying depression, are at risk to abuse alcohol or drugs, and may have trouble with school, work, or relationships. Anxiety disorders include:
- Panic Disorder (commonly known as panic attacks.)
- Phobias (including agoraphobia and social phobia or social anxiety disorder.)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (also known as GAD.)
Each anxiety disorder has specific symptoms, and many disorders seem to run in families although exact causes for many disorders are not yet known. Anxiety disorders can be diagnosed and treated using either psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Treatment usually takes at least several weeks to become effective, and should be carried out under a psychiatrist’s care.
Sadly, many individuals with anxiety disorders don’t seek help, either being afraid of what people will say about them if they do, or not realizing that they have a problem that could be helped. However, most anxiety disorders have safe, effective treatments, which can significantly increase quality of life.