Although anxiety can make you feel isolated and alone, it is actually one of the most common mental health disorders. In fact, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most widely experienced mental illness in the US, with 40 million adults (18.1% of the population) battling anxiety each year.
But just because anxiety is common, however, doesn’t make experiencing it any less challenging. Anxiety can disrupt your social life and your work life, and make it difficult to function in almost any situation. Symptoms can be both emotional and physical (though many don’t experience both): excessive worry, racing thoughts, but also chest pain, rapid heartbeat, stomach upset, dizziness, trembling, and shortness of breath are common. There are several subtypes of anxiety disorder, including general anxiety, PTSD, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and OCD.
Unfortunately, only 36.9% of people with the disorder seek help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal (or relational) Therapy, and mindfulness therapy, however, are all effective evidence-based means of treating anxiety, and can be combined with medication in some cases. Often, anxiety itself is what deters people from seeking treatment, but it’s important to know that compassionate, non-judgmental treatment is out there for anxiety sufferers.