What is anxiety?

Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 Americans, 40 million in total. These include Panic Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Social Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. They are the most common mental health problem in the United States, and though very treatable, millions everywhere do not get the help they need.

All of us know the fear and discomfort that anxiety can bring – whether it is worrying about our jobs, loved ones, or our health – yet why do so few seek care? One of the barriers people face in treating their anxiety issues is that many assume their everyday worries are “normal” and they should try to work through them. While this may be true in some situations, it may cause many to avoid the very evaluation and treatment which would improve their lives. The persistent social stigma that comes with mental health issues prevents many, especially men, from obtaining the help they may need. Finally, even for those who are fortunate enough to have health insurance, many of these plans have poor levels of mental health coverage and inadequate access to mental health providers.

Anxiety also makes it difficult for people by masquerading as other issues – abdominal pain or poor grades in children, stomach issues, headaches, insomnia, tightness in the throat, palpitations for some. This can cause further delays in getting evaluated and receiving proper treatment, as some will ignore the real issue and others will self-medicate. You may know a loved one who is struggling with anxiety or you yourself are the one having issues. Get evaluated or encourage your loved one to get evaluated. When worries are impacting your quality of life, it is time to get help. Your primary care doctor or your local Piedmont Urgent Care Physician can help you get the help that you need.

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