The National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI indicates anxiety disorders are among America’s most common mental illnesses. Recent surveys suggest that up to 19% of the 40 million American adults over age eighteen struggle with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are treatable with help and support. Sadly, like addiction and many other mental health conditions, few of those who could benefit from treatment ever seek the help they need. Data from the AADA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) shows that less than 37% of those with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
NAMI defines anxiety as “a persistent and ongoing struggle that interferes with your day-to-day life.” Most people begin to experience anxiety symptoms during early childhood and adolescence. Often, these symptoms will persist through adulthood. It is possible to have one anxiety disorder or multiple diagnoses.
Unlike other medical and mental health conditions, anxiety is more than a singular diagnosis. Anxiety is a group of conditions, all related in some form. Each has unique symptoms but shares symptoms with other forms of anxiety as well. The most common anxiety symptom shared across all anxiety disorders is excessive, persistent fear in situations that should not provoke fear.
People with anxiety experience various emotional and physical symptoms. While symptoms may vary from person to person, most people experience irritability, feelings of dread, hypervigilance (always “on edge”), and feeling tense or jumpy. Common physical anxiety symptoms may include racing heart, insomnia, shortness of breath, stomach aches, fatigue, and sweating.
Research has not provided a sole risk factor or cause that increases one’s risk for developing an anxiety disorder. Several studies point to multiple factors, including environmental, genetic, and biological factors. Other factors include trauma, illness, and ongoing substance abuse.
What are the Different Types of Anxiety Disorder?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders or DSM is a manual used
by the mental health community to assess and diagnose the presence of a mental health condition. The DSM provides several criteria used by members of the treatment teams at Liberty House to understand anxiety disorders’ symptoms and the best treatment methods. Several types of anxiety disorder are listed in the DSM; however, five are more common than others.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
When you struggle with generalized anxiety disorder, you will experience frequent anxiety symptoms virtually every day. Often, feelings of tension and heightened worry are present even when there is no “reason” to be fearful.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is characterized by two primary symptoms; obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and unwanted thoughts that often “cause” someone with OCD to engage in compulsions. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that people recognize as hallmark OCD symptoms. Compulsive behaviors may include actions like checking, counting, or even hand washing. Compulsions or rituals are performed in the hopes of reducing the intensity and severity of obsessions. Compulsions are executed without fail. Compulsions can be time-consuming and cause significant interference with one’s day-to-day life. While they only provide temporary relief, failure to perform them often worsens anxiety.
Someone with a panic disorder experiences unexpected and recurring episodes of uncontrollable and overwhelming fear. This fear is also accompanied by physical symptoms, including stomach upset, difficulty breathing, and racing heart.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder often occurs after someone experiences an event that leads to harm or the threat of harm. There are many examples of events that can lead to PTSD, including accidents, assault, natural disasters, and witnessing or experiencing violence.
Social phobias are also called social anxiety disorders. Social phobias lead to feelings of extreme self-consciousness when participating in everyday social situations.
How to Find Anxiety Treatment in New Jersey
If you or a loved one struggles with anxiety, seeking help at an anxiety treatment center in New Jersey can help. Our team of caring and compassionate treatment providers at Relevance Recovery are here to help you understand the challenges that lie at the root of anxiety so you can begin your journey to healing. Don’t let struggles with anxiety steal another day. Contact a member of our admissions team today to learn more about anxiety treatment at Relevance Recovery.