What Are Anxiety Disorders? Know All The Facts (INFOGRAPHIC)

In the world we live in, many people experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Most people have to perform in different areas of their lives, so the pressure is so great that they crack under it.

It’s not surprising that anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the United States. Luckily, anxiety is more and more understood and, even though, it is not curable, effective treatments are now available.

The history of anxiety

As surprising as it is, anxiety disorders date back much further than we think. Naturally, people have always suffered from anxiety, but it was actually scientifically proven by a French psychiatrist named Bénédict Augustin Morel in 1866. He suggested that anxiety was due to a dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system.

In the early 1900s, Sigmund Freud declared that anxiety was purely psychological, but he reviewed his position and introduced the theory of “signal anxiety“. He also used the term “anxiety neurosis” for the first time to describe mental illness.

Types of anxiety disorders

Since then, anxiety has been divided into different types. There are actually six categories of anxiety disorders. Here they are:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Social anxiety disorder or social phobia
  • Specific phobias

Some specialists have also found a 7th category which is Agoraphobia. It is often included in the “panic disorder” category, but it is more and more recognized as a new and separate type of anxiety disorder.

What causes anxiety disorders?

Even though the anxiety disorders exact cause is unknown, scientists have found that three factors stand out. Since anxiety is a complex condition, the cause can be one or a combination of several factors. They can be variations in the brain, in the genetics or environmental.

But contrary to popular belief, anxiety isn’t caused by personal weakness, a flawed character or poor education. We have to see beyond the prejudices and realized that mental illness is real and start believing those who are affected by it.

Psychological and physical symptoms

There are lots of symptoms related to anxiety. Not all of the persons affected by this will necessary experience the same symptoms. The reason is there are different types of anxiety disorders. But there is one symptom that surfaces: tenacious or acute fear in given situations where others won’t feel any signs of fear. Here are some of these symptoms:

Psychological symptoms

  • Irritable
  • Panicky
  • Stressed out
  • Frightened
  • and more

Physical symptoms

  • Disturbed sleep
  • Palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Chest tightness
  • and more

These symptoms are only a few of the signs that a person affected by anxiety can experience. The symptoms may vary depending on the type of anxiety disorders. People can experience physical, psychological symptoms or both.

How are anxiety disorders diagnosed?

There are no blood tests that can diagnose anxiety disorders, but there are other ways of finding out if a person is affected. However, anxiety disorders can be provoked by secondary causes that could be diagnosed by specific tests.

To begin with, the physician will perform a physical exam as well as a complete blood work. If all other conditions are ruled out, the doctor will ask a list of questions about personal and family psychiatric history. Then, he will refer the person to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

But there are treatments available

Fortunately, there are treatments that can be helpful to the anxious person. Medication and psychotherapy are the two most common treatments for anxiety disorders. They can be used either alone or together depending on the need.

Complementary or alternative treatments are also other options to consider. Usually, people respond very well to those treatments when used in combination with medication and/or therapy.

An infographic about anxiety disorders

There is a lot of information about anxiety disorders. I found a complete infographic, created by the team at Global Medical Education, where you will find more facts and statistics about this. With this infographic below, you will learn everything there is to know about anxiety disorders.

Click on infographic to enlarge 

Source: Global Medical Education

Final thoughts…

Even though anxiety disorders can completely invade your life, there’s hope for those who suffer in silence. Like we have seen in the previous paragraphs, many treatments are now available to help you live your life to the fullest. A century ago, people living with anxiety disorders didn’t have a great deal of chance to get help. They were condemned to be branded as insane or possessed.

Today, we have the chance to learn more and more about these disorders. Taboos are slowly lifting, and we can talk about this more freely. If you think you suffer from anxiety and want help, please don’t hesitate and contact your physician.

 

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9 thoughts on “What Are Anxiety Disorders? Know All The Facts (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  1. Interesting and informative, Nataly. Thanks for the info. I know I have some of this and tend to panic when things go wrong, but am not keen on therapy or drugs at all. The acupuncture option was a surprise and something I might pursue.

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    1. Hi Debbie,

      Glad you liked it! Anxiety is definitely a big part of Fibromyalgia so I experience anxiety on a daily basis. I already used acupuncture for severe anxiety and I can tell you that it really works. I don’t need it anymore, but if I had difficulty controlling my anxiety again, I will surely get acupuncture treatments.

      If you decide to pursue acupuncture, let me know, I would like to know how it went. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week ahead! 🙂

      Like

      1. I’m sorry you have the burden of Fibromyalgia to deal withl. My arthritis gets bad sometimes, too. 😛 I was also considering the acupuncture option for that, especially in the neck area. Will let you know what happens.

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  2. Hi Nataly,

    Thanks for sharing this awesome infographic with us. I’ve been living with anxiety for many years now and I’ve learned to recognize my triggers. It isn’t easy though. Without meds there are times an anxiety attack can take me hours to come down from.

    I didn’t know these celebrities have anxiety disorders, very interesting. Passing this on gf!

    Have a great week!

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    1. Hi Cori!

      I am so sorry for you, gf! Like I told Debbie, anxiety is a big part of Fibromyalgia, so I know what you’re going through. I don’t take meds either specifically for anxiety, but I take some meds for Fibro that targets the nervous system. Since I started taking it, I have fewer anxiety attacks and I sleep better. And it’s like you said, we learn to recognize our triggers.

      I was also very surprised to see that these celebrities have anxiety disorders. The ones that surprised me the most are Jessica Alba and Whoopi Goldberg. Who knew!!

      Thanks for passing this along! Have a fabulous week ahead, hun! 🙂

      Like

  3. Hi Nataly,

    Great topic. It hits home for me. A few years ago when I was at the peak of my illness and didn’t know what was happening to me, I allowed fear and anxiety to take over my life. It wasn’t long and I found myself visiting the doctor and therapist to learn what the heck was going on with me and why I was allowing my life to skyrocket out of control.

    I think this is a necessary topic to keep speaking out about. Too many people that can’t relate don’t understand. i personally believe that continued awareness will be a light bulb to help others understand.

    Have a great week Nataly.

    Irish

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    1. Hi Irish,

      I experienced the same thing right before I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Like you, I didn’t know what was going on with me and I thought I was going crazy. Fortunately for me, I found a great doctor who had studied Fibro in the U.S. and he diagnosed me with Fibro.

      But anxiety is a big part of Fibro since it’s a central nervous system disease so in a way, it’s kinda normal to have anxiety problems. I know that anxiety disorders are very common nowadays and that’s why I wanted to share this. I hope this info can help people understand what’s going on with them.

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us and have a great week ahead, my dear! 🙂

      Like

  4. Hi Nataly,

    You have explained Anxiety Disorders so well. There are many different levels and many ways to treat it. For me it was Panic. It hit me years ago and I felt like I was having a heart attack, but after 20 minutes I wasn’t dead, so I knew right off it was a Panic attack. I remembered a lecture when studying Psychology that a panic attack can’t really be understood unless one goes through it.

    It repeated and I had physical symptoms so I went right off to get some help with a therapist. I didn’t want this awful feeling to get in the way of my life. I was on meds because panic and depression go hand in hand. Had both!

    I urge anyone reading this that if you find a symptom, seek help. Therapy works well! And check with a doctor first because it could be something wrong that would bring on the attack. Rule everything out and turn from victim to this to victor.

    It sure taught me a lot about myself and it is needed to be talked about.

    -Donna

    Like

    1. Hi Donna,

      I’m so sorry you had to go through this, but I’m glad you got help! Before getting my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, I had many panic attacks. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and it caused me a lot of anxiety.

      I still experience anxiety quite often, but I didn’t get any more panic attacks after knowing that I wasn’t imagining things and that my symptoms had a name. I then knew it wasn’t only in my head.

      And you’re right when you say that anxiety and depression go hand in hand. They both are rooted in the central nervous system. That’s why some meds help both conditions.

      It’s like you said, people suffering from anxiety disorders should stop feel ashamed, and should seek medical help. It’s very important to raise awareness about anxiety disorders to help stop the misconceptions and prejudices.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, I really appreciate it. Have a great Sunday! 🙂

      Like

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