Importance of Anxiety
Anxiety is a disorder that affects a person’s daily life, and can eventually turn into a serious mental health issue if left alone. The public needs to be more aware of the effects anxiety can do to an individual. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects about 18.1% of the population, of which 36.9% receive treatment for their condition. The large percentage that does not receive treatment are putting their future at risk.
Anxiety comes in all shapes and sizes as anyone can be affected with one of the many. The six major anxieties are, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GDA), Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Specific Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Social Anxiety Disorder. GDA is a disorder that causes constant worries and troubles on everyday things for long periods of time. This creates large concerns in important life aspects such as school, work, socially interacting, having conversations, and many more. OCD causes distress and fear with unwanted thoughts. This can make it harder to stop as constantly thinking about the obsessions makes it harder to disappear. Panic disorders are alarming attacks that can occur unexpectedly or occur once triggered by a specific object/situation. Specific disorders are when more detailed objects or situations trigger a type of fear; the fear can be any object, situation, person, and animal. Hence the name, the phobia is more likely to be activated from that single object. PTSD is a disorder that’s caused from experiencing a trauma which causes long term-effects such as difficulties to sleep, tiredness, flashbacks, headaches, guilt, lack of concentration, and constantly in fear and shock from objects related to the trauma. Social anxiety disorders produce an intense fear towards social events. They tend to feel uneasy around situations involving groups of people, social interaction, and resolving major life issues. Using public transportation, being in open/closed spaces with people, and being in heavy populated areas can trigger social anxiety for people. For example, I have a cousin that was tested for PTSD and while her parents didn’t believe her. She had many struggles throughout her childhood, especially when she was older and had to focus on her education. She greatly suffered from it but was able to get the necessary treatment and is now doing much better. She wasn’t ashamed, even though her parents looked down at her for having this mental issue. However, she prioritized herself over how others perceived her health issue.
Anxiety is caused by a variety of factors such as, stress, physical conditions, genetic backgrounds, hormonal balances, and any painful experiences from distress. For some, anxiety originates from genetic factors. The condition can run in the family, but that doesn’t automatically mean it is passed down immediately. The stress from difficult events such as sudden changes, work/school issues, relationships, traumas, and bad environments make anxiety attacks. Along with the environment related issues those that have physical and psychological issues are likely prone to anxiety disorders. Individuals that assume the negative of situations are more likely to be probable to anxiety disorders as they don’t think of the positive factors. Anyone is prone to anxiety, but studies show that women and young people are more likely to experience anxiety. According to the University of Cambridge and Westminster City Council, “Women were found to be twice as likely to be affected as men, which was the case across different countries.” Along with the fact that, “young adults under the age of 35 were also more often affected (2.5% to 9.1%).” It is said that around 49.6% of the world population is women. This shows that half of our world population are women and that half is more sustainable to anxiety. These statistics clearly show how vulnerable people worldwide are to anxiety.
To treat anxiety first it needs to be diagnosed by a medical professional. To diagnose a patient a physical exam is done to understand the symptoms, to get the patient’s blood sample, and any current medications. Once the doctor gets more of an idea of what is happening and about the patient’s every day pattern a psychological exam is taken to evaluate the family history, along with questions on how the disorder and symptoms affect the patient’s daily life, other disorders that come with anxiety, and then comes the results and possible treatments. After the diagnostic tests the doctors discuss the results and the possible treatments done to help the patient. According to the NCBI, “Anxiety can be treated through medications or psychotherapy, but the best results come from a combination of both medicine and therapy.” Therapy helps as it is a way to let out any emotions and thoughts during difficult times. It also helps to understand and explain what is happening to the patient to heal. Any current worries tend to gradually heal, and the anxiety disorder gradually decreases. Medications are taken to help more specific anxieties since most of the medicine used are antidepressants to help decrease any trauma and bad emotions that are keeping the patient’s from enjoying their life; but the medicine mainly helps for a short-term. So, they don’t seem to be as effective as therapy, but both the therapy and medications seem more potent.
With the high percentage of those with anxiety, there are procedures to cure the disorder otherwise there can be long-term consequences. Evidently anxiety can cause distress but with medical procedures it can be helped and cured.
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