When the Worrying Never Ends

By: Mental Health America of Porter County Last Updated: June 25, 2015

Mental-Health-America-Porter-CountyStress, anxiety, and specific phobia disorders don’t receive much media coverage in today’s news. We don’t see a beloved television character suffering from one of these disorders. Yet, surpassing even depression, anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States. While anxiety is labeled as a mental illness, sufferers are also affected physically as well; some symptoms include: shortness of breath, shaking, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, and dizzy spells.

Everyone experiences anxiety and stress when facing specific situations, such as: problems at work, while taking a test, or making an important decision. Anxiety is a normal emotion that, while we don’t think of as positive, is a healthy part of our mental health. Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. For someone with an anxiety disorder, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming.

The exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown; but we do know that they are not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing. It is becoming clear, however, that many psychological disorders are a combination of changes in the brain and environmental stress. As roughly 20% of adults (ages 18 and over) suffer from a form of anxiety disorders; and, while it has a high level of treatability through therapy and/or medication, 2/3 of adults with anxiety do not receive treatment. Teenagers with anxiety receive treatment even less–only 1 in 5 teens seek help.

Do you or someone you know deal with excessive amounts of stress and anxiety? For more information on different kinds of anxiety disorders; please visit http://www.anxietybc.com/ for excellent resources or contact Mental Health America of Porter County at 1(219) 462-6267 or email at jvolk@mhapc.org.