At Rio Vista Behavioral Health, we believe education is an important first step in the effort to heal from anxiety. Understanding the signs, symptoms, and effects of anxiety can help you get the right type and level of care for yourself or a loved one.
Learn about anxiety
Anxiety is a general term that can refer to a variety of mental health disorders. These challenges are collectively referred to as anxiety disorders.
The various forms of anxiety are characterized by experiences such as overwhelming worry and pervasive fear. Symptoms of anxiety can cause you to make drastic self-defeating changes to your behaviors. These changes can, in turn, result in a profound negative impact on the substance and quality of your life.
Virtually every person will experience fear or worry. Depending upon the situation, these emotions are normal, and even healthy. But when they persist long after the event that prompted them, or when they are unconnected from any obvious cause, you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder.
The good news is that anxiety is a treatable condition. When you receive an accurate diagnosis, followed by effective professional care, your health can improve dramatically.
Statistics about anxiety
The following anxiety statistics are from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R):
- About 40 million adults, or more than 18% of the U.S. population age 18 and above, will experience an anxiety disorder in an average year.
- About 23% of women and 14% of men will experience an anxiety disorder in a typical year.
- About 22.8% of people who have an anxiety disorder suffer serious impairment, 33.7% suffer moderate impairment, and 43.5% suffer mild impairment.
- More than 60% of people who develop anxiety never receive professional treatment.
Causes and risk factors for anxiety
Experts have identified a variety of causes and risk factors that may precede the development of anxiety. The following are among the more common genetic and environmental influences that can increase your risk for anxiety:
- Gender (certain types of anxiety are more common among women than among men)
- Having a parent or sibling who has struggled with anxiety or other types of mental illness
- Personal history of other mental health disorders
- Being the victim of a physical or sexual assault
- Losing a parent or experiencing other forms of adversity during childhood
Symptoms of anxiety
If you struggle with anxiety, you may experience a wide range of symptoms. The following are among the more common behavioral, physical, and mental symptoms of anxiety:
- Changing your behaviors to avoid certain people, places, or objects
- Unwillingness to be in open spaces or confined spaces
- Refusing to participate in events that involve large gatherings of people
- Withdrawing from friends and family members
- Muscle tension
- Racing heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Excessive perspiration
- Elevated body temperature
- Feeling like you are choking or incapable of catching your breath
- Tingling sensation in feet or hands
- Sleep problems
- Persistent sense of worry or dread
- Problems with focus or concentration
- Sense of detachment from your body or your surroundings
- Pervasive fear that you are being negatively judged by others
- Overwhelming sense of hopelessness
Effects of anxiety
Untreated anxiety can have a powerful negative impact on virtually all areas of your life. If you fail to receive effective professional care for anxiety, you may increase your risk for the following:
- Discord within your family
- Strained or ruined interpersonal relationships
- Substandard performance in school or at work
- Job loss
- Chronic unemployment
- Financial problems
- Withdrawing or becoming isolated from friends and family members
- Substance abuse and chemical dependency
- Onset or worsening of co-occurring mental health disorders
- A pervasive sense of helplessness and hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
It is important to understand that your risk for the effects listed above increases when you do not seek treatment. When you receive effective professional care for anxiety, you reduce the likelihood that you will experience these negative outcomes.
Common co-occurring disorders among people who struggle with anxiety
If you develop an anxiety disorder, you may also have an increased risk for the following mental health concerns:
- Bipolar disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
Reasons for getting comprehensive professional care for anxiety
Anxiety can have a devastating impact on your physical, emotional, and socioeconomic well-being. Depending upon the nature and severity of your symptoms, you may have problems performing as expected in school and at work, which can lead to a host of other setbacks. Your relationships with friends and family members may suffer, which can deprive you of essential support at a time when you most need it.
When you choose to receive treatment for anxiety at Rio Vista Behavioral Health, you can avoid continued harm while beginning to heal from any past damage. With us, you’ll receive the personalized care that can significantly improve your life. You’ll work with experienced and compassionate professionals who can teach you how to manage your symptoms and regain control of your thoughts and actions.
At Rio Vista Behavioral Health, our comprehensive services can put you back on the path towards a much happier and more satisfying future.