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Anxiety Is More Prevalent Than Many Realize

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Just about everyone suffers from a bought of anxiety at some point in life. Whether it's fear of an upcoming final exam or concern that a loved one might be injured, most people have experienced the gripping fear that can consume thoughts and actions. While this type of passing anxiety is generally quite justified and normal, millions deal with the sensation on virtually a daily basis.

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, this condition is the most common mental illness in America. Some 40 million people in America, age 18 or older, suffer from one form of anxiety disorder or another. The condition is believed to cost more than $42 billion a year, or roughly a third of the total expenditures on mental health in the country a year. The actual illnesses that fall under the anxiety grouping include such things as generalized anxiety, panic disorder, post traumatic stress and a host of others. Dealing with the condition often depends a great deal on the exact type of anxiety disorder at hand.

As common as disorders related to anxiety are, they are not well understood. Generalized anxiety disorder, which is one of the most common forms, has a few potential causes, but the exact reason why it appears is not fully understood. At this point, scientists and physicians believe this disorder is caused by genetics, brain chemistry and even environmental factors, such as death of a loved one, stress and even withdrawal from certain addictive substances. If the cause can be isolated, treatment is often able to be a bit more focused. If anxiety is caused by the death of a loved one, for example, working through that issue can often help a person find relief from symptoms.

Living with anxiety is not very pleasant for patients who deal with the condition. In some cases, people's symptoms are so bad they cordon themselves off from life and refuse to do things in fear of panic attacks and other related symptoms.

Treating these disorders is possible with medications, therapy and persistency. Many people also find that self-relaxation techniques can help them stop panic attacks in their tracks. The best course of action often depends on which disorder exactly a person suffers from. Physicians and psychologists will often suggest tailored treatments to meet the needs of an individual patient.

Living live with anxiety disorders is not a fun undertaking. For some 40 million people in the U.S. alone, every day presents with a fear that symptoms will appear and sideline life. Battling through the condition generally involves a long-term approach and a lot of persistence and patience.