What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a common human experience characterized by feelings of uneasiness, worry, fear, and apprehension. It is a natural reaction to situations that are perceived as stressful or dangerous. At normal levels, anxiety can be helpful in motivating people to take action against potential threats. However, for some, anxiety becomes excessive, persistent, and disruptive to daily activities.

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent group of mental illnesses in the US, affecting over 19% of adults each year. They develop due to a complex mix of factors like genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life experiences.

There are several types of anxiety disorders:

Anxiety disorder symptoms can range from mild to severe. While anxiety may seem like it comes out of nowhere, people generally notice signs like:

If you identify with any of the above symptoms, know that you don't have to manage anxiety alone. Reach out to your doctor or a mental health professional right away. Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) combined with medication can effectively treat anxiety. Lifestyle changes like avoiding stimulants, exercising, and reducing stress also help.

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