An Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive, irrational fear and dread unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as speaking in public or a first date. Individuals may feel excessively frightened or distressed in situations in which most other people would not experience these same feelings. Statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health state that Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year.
There are several types of Anxiety Disorders. Anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated. Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear and dread
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Anxiety disorders are treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Medications do not cure anxiety and some are meant to be used for a short period of time . It is always a good idea to discuss options with you doctor.