Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. The rate of adults who suffer from anxiety increased from 11 percent (one in ten) to 25 percent (one in four) over the last three years. The rate of adolescents ages 13 to 18 with anxiety is even higher at 33 percent (one in three), according to the American Psychiatric Association. Even though anxiety is common, you don’t have to live with its debilitating effects forever.
Having anxiety—a feeling of fear or unpleasant anxiousness—is a normal human response to an approaching stressful event or encounter. But for many people, anxiety is more extreme and persistent. In those cases, it is likely an anxiety disorder, especially when those feelings last longer than six months and interfere with normal life activities.
An anxiety disorder can affect anyone at any age, but women are twice as likely to be diagnosed. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include having trouble concentrating, difficulty falling asleep and experiencing nightmares, panic attacks and rapid breathing, increased heart rate and restlessness. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, there are five major types of anxiety disorders: