A Hidden Obstacle: Anxiety

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Anxiety disorders affect nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population at any given time. Studies do not show whether nature or nurture play a greater role in the development of anxiety disorders.   Photo by Chris@APL

Preparing for a speech: “There is a quick racing of the heart and shortness of breath followed by the whole body quivering. You’re are unable to think or make words,”  a person with Social Anxiety Disorder said. 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. They affect nearly 20 percent of the public at any given time, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.  Unfortunately, some people do not pursue treatment for their illness because they do not recognize the severity of their symptoms or are too ashamed to ask for help. Untreated anxiety disorders can negatively affect personal and professional relationships, and can impair regular day-to-day activities. Effective treatment for anxiety disorders as well as education of the illness is essential to decrease it’s impact.

Anxiety disorders cause a person to experience symptoms of distress, uneasiness and fear in situations in which most people would not experience those symptoms; for example, going grocery shopping at your local food market. The most common anxiety disorders (in no particular order) are:

  • Exercise is scientifically proven to aid in decreasing the effects of an anxiety disorder. Photo by Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

    Exercise is scientifically proven to aid in decreasing the effects of an anxiety disorder. Photo by Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

  • Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Phobias

Studies do not show whether nature or nurture play a bigger role in the development of these disorders; however, there does seem to be consensus among medical professionals on how to treat them. For many, psychotherapy techniques and medication are most helpful in severe anxiety disorders.

Personal habits can also decrease the effects of anxiety disorders, such as:

  1. A healthy diet can help those with an anxiety disorder. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also be beneficial. Photo by Berkeley Lovelace.

    A healthy diet can help those with an anxiety disorder. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also be beneficial. Photo by Berkeley Lovelace Jr. 

    Diet – A healthy diet is essential to treat anxiety disorders. For some anxiety disorders reducing caffeine and alcohol intake can be effective.

  2. Sleep – Those who are deprived of sleep are more vulnerable to anxiety Make sure to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Hours may vary depending on your age.

  3. Expression/Awareness – Write in a journal or talk to someone about it. Also learn how to control your symptoms through practices and exercises.

  4. Exercise – Exercise has many benefits but it has been shown that regular exercise can help treat an anxiety disorder.

  5. And more – There are different ideas out there on how to most effectively treat an anxiety disorder. So, educate yourself on this issue.

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One thought on “A Hidden Obstacle: Anxiety

  1. Pingback: Be vulnerable. Be courageous. | Where I Stand

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