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How Common is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a state of angst or worry characterized by somatic, emotional cognitive and/or behavioral symptoms.  Individuals usually experience symptoms of this because of a feeling of fear or concern.  Everyone experiences some degree of this at various stages in life, related to differing factors.  However, those who have experienced this often wonder how common it is, as this state sometimes elicits a feeling of isolation.

When determining the incidence of this, it is important to differentiate between symptoms of anxiety or a diagnosable anxiety disorder.  Symptoms of the former are experienced by just about everyone at one point or another.  They can include emotional symptoms such as apprehension or tension or physical symptoms such as stomach aches or heart palpitations.  While everyone experiences symptoms of anxiety, once these symptoms cause a disruption to an individual’s ability to function properly, they may be categorized as an anxiety disorder.

It is difficult to accurately determine how common these disorders are as many people go undiagnosed and without treatment.  What we do know is that it is classified as the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million adults.  Though it is present among individuals of all ages and backgrounds, it seems to be more common in females than males.  Unfortunately, only about half of people who suffer from an anxiety disorder actually seek treatment, leaving those without treatment to suffer in silence.

It is important to recognize that there are a variety of treatments for these problems.  Medications are available to lessen symptoms and several therapeutic modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can identify causes, reduce symptoms and help individuals develop effective coping and relaxation skills to better manage the causes of anxiety.  If you feel that symptoms of anxiety have become difficult to manage, a Proliance Center professional can help you identify the best course of treatment to address your individual needs.

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