What is anxiety?

Anxiety may be a normal reaction to stress, and it can serve as a prompt to deal with difficult situations. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, it may fall under the classification of an anxiety disorder.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that almost one out of five people suffer from an anxiety disorder, making it the most common mental disorder in the United States.

What is anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorder is characterized by emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms that create an unpleasant feeling that is typically described as uneasiness, fear, or worry.  These symptoms may be severe enough to constitute an anxiety attack (also known as panic attack).  Anxiety attacks may  occur unexpectedly and create great fear that they will reoccur. Thus, people suffering from anxiety disorders often withdraw and seek to avoid people or certain places.

While generalized anxiety disorder is the most common, there are other anxiety disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder.