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Anxiety is an overall feeling of fear, nervousness, and apprehension, usually with physical signs such as sweating, nausea, and increased heart rate. Although occasional anxiety is normal and natural, for some people it is persistent and interferes with everyday life, which usually means that they have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illness, affecting approximately nineteen million Americans. These disorders develop from a complex set of factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Anxiety disorders in adults are categorized as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and specific phobias.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is an excessive and uncontrollable worrying about everyday events. Sufferers tend to be irritable, easily tired, have trouble sleeping, and feel “on edge.” It affects daily functioning and can cause physical symptoms such as muscle tension, sweating, nausea, clammy hands, difficulty swallowing, and stomach pain. Often, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is difficult to diagnose because there are no major, dramatic symptoms that are seen with other disorders, such as unprovoked panic attacks. In order for a diagnosis to be made, worry must be present more days than not for at least six months.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a condition in which a person is plagued by persistent, recurring thoughts that reflect exaggerated anxiety or fears, and in order to relieve these feelings, the person performs a ritual or routine which temporarily neutralizes the anxious thoughts. Common