What is Anxiety?

Worry or fear are examples of anxiety, which can range from a mild form to a severe one.

Anxiety is a normal part of life for everyone. If you're worried about something like an exam, a medical test, or a job interview, you're not alone.

Anxiety is perfectly normal in such situations.

It's true that some people struggle to keep their worries in check. Their anxiety is more pervasive and can have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.

How to deal with it

Anxiety can be treated with prescription medications, therapy, meditation, and physical exercise. Experts advise combining these treatment options. It's normal to feel anxious when faced with difficult decisions or life changes, but when that anxiety starts to affect your daily activities, you may have an anxiety disorder on your hands.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness estimates that 40 million American adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. It's safe to say that anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States today.

Worrying about everyday issues like problems at work or school or adjusting to life changes is a defining characteristic of anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders are characterized by persistent, unrelenting fear that negatively impacts a person's quality of life.

Other health problems or unhealthy habits can develop as a result of anxiety. People who are anxious are more likely to experience symptoms such as insomnia, chronic pain, and digestive issues. Stress-inducing behaviors like smoking and vaping are common among anxious people and can lead to health problems down the road.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people with anxiety and other mental disorders smoke up to four times as much as the general population. According to a 2014 study led by Sharon Cummins of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, they are also twice as likely to have tried e-cigarettes.

Stacy O'Mara, a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist, estimates that about 40 percent of her clients have anxiety issues or disorders. "For the most part, [these patients] aren't getting enough sleep." Treatment is suggested "if they're in danger of losing their job or their partner," she explained.

In many forms, from generalized anxiety disorder to social phobia, anxieties manifest themselves. Only about 40% of people who suffer from anxiety receive treatment according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

And we just have to figure out how to help people feel empowered and safe, and that they really do live in a predictable, controllable environment," O'Mara stated.