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Sunday, April 24, 2011

I'm a nervous wreck!

A two part series (Part 2)

Do you feel uncomfortable in groups? Do you find yourself suddenly terrified, sweaty, and unable to breathe? Are you uncomfortable in closed elevators or fearful of snakes or spiders? If so, you might suffer from the #1 mental health concern in America… an anxiety disorder.

Can you define anxiety for us?

· Anxiety is generally defined as a feeling or worry, dread, feeling uneasy, nervousness, or apprehension or fear of daily events or future events

· Anxiety disorder effects about 40 million Americans

· Number one mental health problem in America

· More women than men suffer from anxiety

Tell us about the symptoms of anxiety

· Excessive or constant worry and tension

· Preoccupation with fears, unrealistic view of concerns

· Headaches, stomach pains, sweating, muscle tension

· Difficulty with sleep, irritability, feeling restless or uneasy

What are some of the most common forms of anxiety disorders?

· Panic attacks: Affecting over 5 million Americans, they are characterized by sudden episodes of intense fear or apprehension that may come from “out of the blue.” These attacks generally lasts for a few minutes to an hour. Generally people experiencing sweating, shortness or breath, racing heart, feeling numb, hot or cold flashes, and fears of going crazy.

· Social phobia: This is the most common anxiety disorder. It involves the fear of embarrassment or humiliation in situations in which you must perform. The fear surrounds the concern that you will say or do something that will cause others to judge you as weak, crazy, or not capable. The most common social phobia is fear of public speaking.

· Specific phobia: Affecting over 12% of all Americans in their lifetime, this type of phobia involves a strong fear or avoidance of one particular type of object or situation. Some of the most common phobias are fear of animals, fear of heights, fear of flying, and fear of blood or needles.

· Generalized Anxiety disorder: This disorder is characterized by anxiety that persists for at least six months. Generally this occurs when people are concerned about numerous life stresses and experience symptoms of irritability, restlessness, sleeplessness, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue

· Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Generally sufferers are reluctant to talk about their symptoms because they impair with daily functioning. OCD sufferers might spend hours cleaning, tidying, checking or ordering to the point that these activities interfere with their lives. Generally individuals feel an obsession to perform a particular activity, and feel compelled to attend to the obsession. This disorder affects over 2.4 million Americans during any 6-month period.

Remember if you suffer from any of these symptoms—reach out to a therapist and remember that anxiety disorders have a 70% success rate for treatment.


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