Spotlight: Anxiety

The power of the mind is your power. Use it. Don’t let it use you.

Terri Guillemets

It is estimated that 1 in 13 people globally suffers from an anxiety disorder. Doing the math, that means that 7.7% of the world’s population suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder. Think about that for a second.

According to recent estimates, approximately 7.7% of the global population suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

Anxiety presents itself in a multitude of ways. There are 5 main types of anxiety disorders, although the range isn’t limited to just these 5.

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD: Characterized by persistent, or chronic worry and fear, even if there is little backing to support this worry.

2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD: Characterized by repeated, unwanted thoughts, feeling, sensations, etc. (obsessions) that drive people to perform repeated behaviors (compulsions), and in a way that can interfere with daily life.

3. Panic Disorder

Panic Disorder: Characterized by spontaneous, unexpected episodes of discomfort, shortness of breath, quickened heart rate, dizziness, and fear (panic attacks).

4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD: Characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety triggered by a traumatic event. Most people who experience a traumatic event have post-trauma stress, but the persistence of these symptoms is what PTSD is characterized.

5. Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Phobia: Characterized by extreme discomfort in social situations. Everyone experiences some level of discomfort in a crowded, unfamiliar environment, but Social Phobia often causes people to avoid certain social environments altogether because of the accompanying fear and anxiety that comes with being in them.

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

Benjamin Franklin

Because of the many different forms anxiety can take, it can be really difficult to tell if someone is struggling with one of these conditions. It is important to keep in mind that mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression do not define who a person is, and that it is not their personality or their choice that they are going through what they are.

Feeling sad, or stressed, or anxious, is completely normal and something we all go through almost every day. Having a mental health condition does not make someone “different”, or “lesser” than anyone else. They are just fighting a slightly different battle, and deserve respect for their strength.

As overwhelming as anxiety is, there are so many ways to lessen its hold on the mind. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is a positive, individualized way to help recognize the world beyond anxiety. Learn more about CBT and other forms of positive psychology.

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