Anxiety is more than just nervousness or fear. It is a debilitating disorder that can significantly alter an individual’s ability to lead a product and mentally healthy lifestyle. There are many different ways that anxiety can reveal itself and not all anxiety is created equal. Symptoms can vary depending on the individual. We all experience anxiety at some point, but general anxiety can generally be overcome without seeking professional assistance. Many people first develop symptoms of an anxiety disorder during childhood. Some anxiety disorders are more likely to develop in childhood or teenage years, while others are more likely to start in young adults.
The World Health Organization estimates 3.6 percent of the world’s population struggles with anxiety disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health recently reported that 19 percent of Americans are affected by an anxiety disorder each year. An individual with anxiety disorder may experience the following:
- nervousness, restlessness, or being tense
- feelings of danger, panic, or dread
- rapid heart rate
- rapid breathing, or hyperventilation
- increased or heavy sweating
- trembling or muscle twitching
- weakness and lethargy
- difficulty focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than the thing you’re worried about
- digestive or gastrointestinal problems, such as gas, constipation, or diarrhea
- a strong desire to avoid the things that trigger your anxiety
- obsessions about certain ideas, a sign of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- performing certain behaviors over and over again
- anxiety surrounding a particular life event or experience that has occurred in the past
Anxiety has quickly surpassed depression as the most common mental illness college students seek therapy services. The American College Health Association found that there has been a significant increase from 2011-2016 in college students seeking help to deal with overwhelming anxiety during their undergraduate studies.
These numbers are in conjunction with an increasing number of hospitalizations and suicides amongst teenagers and young adults over the last decade has caused many school districts to increase their capacity to have mental health counselors on staff who can be readily available to help students throughout the year. The reason for the increase in anxiety among teen and adults can be attributed to a number of different factors but it is imperative that solutions are sought after and many of those solutions start with therapy. Most therapy clinics are able to treat students as young as three years old to help combat the early onset of anxiety disorder symptoms.
It is never too late to get help for anxiety issues or disorders. Many continue to struggle with anxiety simply because they have not been properly diagnosed. The key is recognizing the symptoms and seeking help as soon as possible in efforts to control symptoms before they get out of hand. While anxiety can be difficult to control for many who struggle with it, the good news is that anxiety is a highly treatable mental disorder and can be treated with exceptional success rates. Anxiety does not have to control your life. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, seek help from your nearest mental health professional.