What is Anxiety?
Anxiety by itself is not a disorder. It's perfectly normal to feel uneasy or unsettled when something unwelcome or uncertain is about to happen. Anxiety can help you protect yourself against immediate threats of violence.
Anxiety can quickly turn from a motivator to a heavy weight when the physical symptoms start acting out of the norm.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety disorders, according to the World Health Organization, are one of the most common mental disorders, with 1 in 13 people suffering from them.
Anxiety disorders refer to a category of psychiatric conditions that often involve extreme fear or worry. Here are six of the most common types of anxiety:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Separation Anxiety
- Social Anxiety Disorder
DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), or DSM-5, outlines that 3.1%, or 6.8 million adults in the United States have generalized anxiety disorder. When assessing for generalized anxiety disorder, medical professionals are looking for the following criteria outlined by DSM-5:
- The presence of excessive anxiety and worry about a variety of topics, events, or activities. Worry occurs more often than not for at least six months and is clearly excessive.
- The worry is experienced as very challenging to control. The worry in both adults and children may easily shift from one topic to another.
- The anxiety and worry are accompanied by at least three of the following physical or cognitive symptoms (In children, only one of these symptoms is necessary for a diagnosis of GAD):
- Tires easily, more fatigued than usual
- Being restlessness or edgy
- Concentration is impaired or mind goes blank
- Muscle aches or soreness beyond normal
- Restless nights, unsatisfying sleep, or difficulty sleeping
Anxiety disorders can be treated by proven methods of psychotherapy and sometimes medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a common technique for treating anxiety disorders and is well-researched for it's quick and direct success treating this condition.
If you need help, there is hope! Reach out to one of our licensed anxiety treatment mental health professionals.