‘Anxiety’ is an emotion related to anticipation of a future concern which may be normal reaction within a stressful situation, and can be beneficial in some ways. It helps alert us to dangers and help us prepare and pay attention.
Disorders related to the emotions of anxiety and differ from normal feelings of nervousness or anxiousness and involve excessive fear or anxiety. These are known as the most common of mental disorders and affect nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives. People to try to avoid situations that they feel trigger or worsen their symptoms. Job performance, school work and personal relationships can be affected. But anxiety disorders are treatable and a number of effective treatments are available, which can help most people lead more fulfilling and productive lives.
In general, for a person to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the fear or anxiety must:
- Be out of proportion to the situation or age-inappropriate
- Hinder ability to function normally
There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, specific phobias, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder.
Treatment options for anxiety and related conditions:
Although each anxiety disorder has unique characteristics, most respond well to two types of treatment: therapy and medications. These treatments can be given alone or in combination.
Various activities and techniques have also been developed that help individuals deal with symptoms of anxiety disorders and make treatment more effective; these include stress management techniques and mindfulness. Support groups (in-person or online) can provide an opportunity to share experiences and coping strategies. Learning more about the specifics of a disorder and helping family and friends to understand the condition better can also be helpful.