We've all felt symptoms of anxiety at some point in our lives. The lead up to a big test or presentation at work, maybe a particularly bumpy plane ride, and perhaps even when you couldn't find where you parked your car in a big garage –– these can all bring on those familiar anxious symptoms like profuse sweating, racing heartbeat, and uncontrollable worry. It's perfectly normal to feel anxious occasionally, especially for good reason.
Anxiety is our body's way of sensing and preparing for a potentially dangerous situation. For example, speaking in front of a group can make us anxious, but that same anxiety also motivates us to prepare and practice. Driving in heavy traffic is another common source of anxiety, especially when running late, but it helps keep us alert and cautious to avoid accidents. However, when feelings of intense fear and distress become overwhelming and prevent us from doing everyday activities, an anxiety disorder may be the cause.
Anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions, each having unique symptoms. However, all anxiety disorders have one thing in common: persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that are only perceived threats, not real danger.
Knowing whether or not you're experiencing anxiety can be difficult, especially if you've been dealing with discomfort for a while. If you're not aware of common symptoms, they could be easy to miss, even when someone is quietly suffering. However, when anxiety is prolonged far beyond the triggering event, or you start to develop panic attacks, and symptoms start to impact your everyday life, it could be time to consider looking into anxiety therapy.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. Over 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1%) have an anxiety disorder. Take the quiz to find out if you could be suffering from anxiety.