1. Anyone can get an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness among Americans; it affects nearly 20% of the population. Everyone feels stress or anxiety at some point but when anxiety becomes overwhelming and interferes with your life, it becomes a disorder.
2. There are different types of anxiety disorders
There are about 12 official types of anxiety disorders recognized by the DSM. Social phobias, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder are a few. While there is no cure, you can manage these disorders with a mixture of therapies and medication (not necessarily both).
3. There’s no way of predicting who will have an anxiety disorder
Anxiety can be hereditary but sometimes traumatic events can also trigger anxiety disorders. Jobs with high stress situations such as first responders or soldiers may be at a high risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than someone who works in an office all day.
4. Not all disorders have the same symptoms
As with any disorder, the symptoms can differ between each individual anxiety disorder.
5. Medication isn’t always the answer
Medication isn’t always necessary for those who struggle with anxiety. While some doctors may prescribe benzodiazepines (used to treat anxiety in the moment) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs – which are taken daily) others may just recommend therapy and exercise.
6. Coping skills are key
Learning coping skills to help you deal with the stress you experience can help alleviate anxiety. Meditation, mindfulness, diaries/journaling or even music can help ease stress and anxiety.
7. It can get better
Luckily, anxiety can be treated. While it may not curable, anxiety can be managed through therapy, medication, exercise, mindfulness practice or a combination of these. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, treatment and management may take a while but it is worth it.