We’ve all felt it at times—the anxiety before a test, big game, or interview; the fear of walking down a dark street or hearing a strange sound when home alone. Fear and anxiety are normal and necessary parts of life. They keep us alert and can be protective. However, the more than 19 million Americans with
anxiety disorders face much more than just "normal" anxiety.
Instead, their lives are filled with overwhelming anxiety and fear
that invade their thoughts and make it difficult to function in daily life. Luckily, there are effective treatments available.
Take the quiz below to learn some important and helpful facts about anxiety disorders.
1. Which of the following are disorders of the
a. Stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis
b. Anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, depression, alcohol
c. Autism, anorexia, learning disabilities, dyslexia,
d. Alzheimer's, Tourette syndrome, Parkinson's, brain tumor
2. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), once
referred to as shell shock or battle fatigue, is a condition that
only affects war veterans.
have experienced a traumatic event or ordeal, such as a tornado, a
rape or mugging, a fire, or a car accident, are at risk for developing
. People with this anxiety disorder repeatedly relive the
trauma in the form of nightmares and disturbing recollections
during the day. They may also experience sleep problems,
, feeling detached or numb, or being easily startled.
3. Someone who feels compelled to spend a great deal of
time doing things over and over again such as washing their hands,
checking things, or counting things has an anxiety disorder.
A person plagued by the urgent need to engage
in certain rituals, or tormented by unwelcome thoughts or images,
may have an anxiety disorder called
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
. Most healthy people can
identify with having some of the symptoms of OCD, such as checking
the stove several times before leaving the house. But the disorder
is diagnosed only when such activities take up at least one hour a
day, are very distressing, and interfere with daily life. OCD
affects men and women equally. It can appear in childhood,
adolescence, or adulthood, but on the average, it first shows up in
the teens or early adulthood.
4. What is the most common mental health problem in the
Answer: c. Anxiety disorders
More than 19 million Americans suffer from
type 1 diabetes
high blood pressure
are all real medical
illnesses. Unfortunately, misconceptions about mental illnesses like anxiety disorders still exist. Because many people believe mental illness is a sign of personal weakness, the condition is often left untreated. However, scientists have shown that anxiety disorders are
often related to the biological makeup and life experiences of the
person, and they frequently run in families. It is essential that anxiety disorders be recognized, as there are treatments available that can help control the disease and improve people’s lives.
6. Which of the following are symptoms of an anxiety
disorder known as panic disorder?
is characterized by unexpected and
repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms
that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of
breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress. These sensations often
mimic symptoms of a heart attack or other life-threatening medical
conditions. Left untreated, people with panic disorder can develop
so many phobias about places or situations where panic attacks have
occurred that they become housebound.
If panic disorder is not treated, a person can develop phobias about the places or situations where panic attacks occurred. As these phobias intensify, a person’s life becomes severely limited, in some cases, to the point of being afraid to leave home.
Anxiety disorders often occur with other illnesses.
beginning any treatment, it is important to have a thorough medical exam to
determine if other conditions are contributing to the anxiety disorder.
8. Most people can successfully take control of the symptoms
of anxiety disorders by sheer willpower and personal strength.
Many people misunderstand mental illnesses, including
, and think people should be able to overcome
the symptoms by sheer willpower. Wishing the symptoms away does not
work—but there are treatments that can help. Treatment for anxiety
disorders often involves medication, specific forms of
psychotherapy, or a combination of the two.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a