When anxiety becomes overwhelming and prevents you from carrying on with your normal life, it can be classified as a mental illness.
Anxiety is normal, and for some people the reaction is more severe and out of proportion to what might normally be expected. These people suffer anxiety disorders. These disorders include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and generalised anxiety disorder.
Symptoms can include sweating, trembling, palpitations, a feeling of being out of control, sleep problems, overwhelming panic and struggling to think rationally.
Having an anxiety disorder can impact on a person's ability to function. There is no single known cause for anxiety. It can occur at the time of transitions through different stages of life, or after traumatic life events. It is sometimes linked to depression or genetic factors.
Can anxiety disorders be treated?
Anxiety disorders are treatable. Generally, the earlier treatment can be applied, the better the outcome and quicker the response to treatment, but in some cases not all the symptoms will disappear. Sometimes medication is beneficial.
General anxiety can sometimes be treated simply by identifying how the person is becoming stressed and showing them how to deal with stress using relaxation techniques and mindfulness. However, more severe anxiety may need more formal treatment.
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