Anxiety Disorder is a very challenging illnesses to diagnose and treat. While it is normal for a person to experience occasional anxiety during any given day, it is not normal for anxiety to chronically interfere with one’s day-to-day ability to function. Unfortunately, the complexity around anxiety has led to a plethora of misinformation on this illness.

Myth #1:  Anxiety is the same thing as an anxiety disorder.

Truth:  The day-to-day nervousness or anxiety we feel is not the same thing as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are each a mental illness, with specific and complex risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.

“Anxiety disorder” refers to a number of different symptoms and behaviors, including Generalized anxiety disorder, Panic disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and phobias.

Myth #2: Anxiety disorders can be managed the same way we manage general anxiety.

Fact: The anxiety associated with mental health disorders is far more debilitating than normal anxiety. Anxiety disorders lead to incredible and even disabling levels of chronic fear and anxiety. These feelings tend to grow worse over time and can escalate into panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, and nightmares. They can also lead to physical symptoms, including shortness of breath, shaking, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, dizzy spells, and more.

Myth #3:  Anxiety disorders aren’t that common.

Fact: Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America: more than 40 million American adults and 10 million teenagers and children are affected by these concerns each year (or about 18 percent of the population

Myth #4:  Anxiety disorders are hard to treat.

Fact: Anxiety disorders are highly treatable – but only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.2

Myth #5: An anxiety disorder is a type of depression.

Fact: Anxiety disorders and depression are different types of mental diseases. However it’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Myth #6: Anxiety medications are addictive.

Fact: Similar to many other illnesses, there are multiple treatment and medication options for anxiety. The vast majority of them come with no risk of dependence.

To learn more about anxiety disorders visit this section of the site.

Anxiety disorders are each unique and each can be treated. Get the help you need.