Anxiety is defined as a normal human emotion that is experienced by the majority of people. There are several different levels of anxiety; the most common is General Anxiety Disorder, or GAD. Other types include panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. (Katz MD) When one goes through an anxiety experience, they feel anxious or nervous. Everyone encounters anxiety in their lives; however anxiety disorders cause such stress in the body to interfere with one’s ability to carry on life normally. Anxiety disorders are considered serious mental illnesses, causing constant worry and or fear, which can be crippling. (Katz MD)
GAD is the most common anxiety disorder that primary care doctors find in their patients; about 5% of people will develop GAD within their lifetime. (Dryden-Edwards MD) There is no single cause of GAD. Women tend to develop the condition, along with other anxiety disorders more commonly than men. Those with family history of anxiety and depression are at an even higher risk for developing GAD or social anxiety disorder. (Dryden-Edwards MD) Being Native-American and having a low income can raise the risk of developing social anxiety disorder. Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans living in more populated regions generally have lower risks of developing this disorder. (Dryden-Edwards MD) Other causes of anxiety in general include inhibited temperament, parental anxiety, and adolescent smoking. Young girls who begin puberty early seem to be more likely to develop anxiety than same aged peers of both genders. (Dryden-Edwards MD) There are so many environmental conditions, as previously mentioned, that can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Trauma from abuse, victimization, or close death can contribute. Stress in any area of one’s life or even lack of oxygen in high altitude areas can also create anxiety. (Crosta) It’s estimated that...
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