The problem in Detail
- Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S.population).
- They are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
- They cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill, according to “The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders,” a study commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60(7), July 1999).
- More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services; people with the disorder seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses.
- People with the disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from the disorder
- The disorder develops from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events.
Causes for Anxiety
Scientists currently believe that, like heart disease, mental illnesses may result from a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological and developmental factors. A study of twins and families suggested that genetics play a significant role in the study of the development of some anxiety disorders. The root of the problem being found closely to genetics has inspired an extensive length of study to reveal more about what could cause the disorder on a regionally distributive basis.
Several areas of the brain are the main components in the production of fear and anxiety. With the use of brain imaging technology and neurochemical techniques, scientists have discovered that the amygdala and the hippocampus play very significant roles in most of these types of disorders.
The amygdala is the almond-shaped part of the brain that encodes threatening events into memories. Studies have shown that the hippocampus may be smaller in those who were victims of significant trauma, making them far more likely to fixate on objects that immediately threaten them. The study of anxiety will improve greatly with a greater wealth of knowledge that we’re able to attain of the brain by studying it frequently.
How to Relieve Anxiety
Even though the problem is very prevalent, there are several ways to reduce it and lessen the impact that it has on one’s everyday life. For starters, if one is aware that they are anxiety prone, then they can learn how to live with it. It does not make the person who experiences it any less of a person than they are or any less capable. If you can help yourself by embracing your problem, you are a step closer to being able to conquer it and act in spite of it.
When waking up in the morning, it is helpful to remain as active as possible. Taking actions, makes people better able to work through their problem. Simply doing the dishes or working in the garden can be good active ways to reduce anxiety levels. Sitting about will only allow the anxious thoughts to consume you.
Whenever the feeling of anxiousness arises, it is wise to pinpoint exactly were it is and follow it until it dissolves. It often manifests in tension and by identifying exactly where the tension begins, one can feel more in control of the flow of their anxiety and thus be more capable of conquering it altogether.
It is important to always have a positive outlet as the feeling of anxiety will only grow stronger and eventually become too great if it isn’t expressed in a way that is either productive or substantial. Simply lending somebody a hand is a great way to drop there levels down beneath their usual levels.
Frequent communication is a great way to lower the problem. An activity such as a family get-together or even talking with a patron at Starbucks can be something that leads towards constructive emotional expressions.
Exercise is a great way to keep the fears of anxiety from becoming too powerful. Exercise promotes self esteem and releases pain-killing endorphins, A powerful tag team in creating an altogether greater sense of being in a relatively short period of time.
Starting a journal in order to properly catalogue one’s thought process and draw a line best fit through them all can be a great way to watch for a pattern in negative thoughts and essentially discover how to eliminate them simply by being familiar with them.
What you have to understand is you are not alone and that many other people have gone through what you are feeling by tackling the problem all your issues can go away.