Mental Health Disorder: 5 Facts about Anxiety

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Anxiety is a mental health disorder characterised by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities. In Australia, it’s estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, over 2 million people in Australia have anxiety.

Below are 5 facts to help you better understand anxiety:

There are many types of anxiety disorders.

While anxiety disorder is often thought to be one generalised disorder, there are actually a number of different kinds of anxiety disorders.  There are different kinds of anxiety because they are associated with many different aspects of life. These includes anxieties centered on phobias, social situations, panic and trauma. The different kinds of anxiety disorders include:

  • General anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Phobic disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Separation anxiety disorder

Women have double the risk for anxiety disorders than men do.

Several studies show that women are more likely to experience anxiety than men are. There is long list of reasons which include: brain chemistry as well as hormone fluctuations, changes in life, and differences in emotional reactions. The brain chemistry of men and women is vastly different which means that anxiety’s presence and creation is different in men and women. Hormone fluctuations created by reproduction events in the life of women have been linked in rises of anxiety which are not present in men. The life experiences of men and women are also different which means what impacts on their lives will create anxiety differently. Women are more prone to stress and use different coping strategies to deal with issues that can influence the risk of anxiety.

 

Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by other related disorders.

Anxiety disorders rarely occur alone and can often be linked to other disorders which further the impact of anxiety. Anxiety frequently occurs along with depression or substance abuse. This translates to the fact that half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.  People who suffer from anxiety disorders are six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who don’t have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders can also be linked to eating disorders and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Anxiety can cause or exacerbate physical illnesses.

Studies have also show that people who suffer from anxiety are also more likely to develop a number of chronic health conditions which include: heart disease, gastrointestinal problems and respiratory ailments. There is a strong connection between your physical health and your emotional state. A continual state of anxiety could make your body more susceptible to disease. This connection is also linked because many people who suffer with anxiety turn to alcohol or drugs in order to number the anxious feelings. Anxiety’s connection to substance abuse has the power to create physical illnesses because it ruins the bodies defence against other illnesses.

 

Anxiety can be managed and treated effectively.

The most important fact to know about anxiety is that it is a manageable disorder with several treatments available. Many disorders are left untreated because people are uncomfortable with the management options available to them. The variety of treatment options available to anxiety sufferers include:

  • Talk therapy (psychotherapy)
  • Coping strategies
  • Medication
  • Alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture

Anxiety can also be treated by one or any combinations or the options listed above. Through awareness and treatment, people with anxiety disorders can lead healthy, happy, productive lives free of excessive worry and fear.

 

Unfortunately, as many as 30 percent of people with anxiety disorders never seek treatment. If this is you or someone you love, seek or encourage treatment. There may be no such thing as a worry-free life, but a life spent in a continual state of anxiousness doesn’t have to be.

If this article has raised concerns or you feel that you are ready to speak to someone about your anxiety, contact us at A2Z Medical Centre on 9758 9848. We can help you see a doctor or a psychologist who can put you on a path to a less anxious life.

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