Anxiety impacts everyone at one time or another. You might be anxious about starting a new job or moving to a new town. After a period of adjustment, the anxious feeling will go away. But some people may have an anxiety disorder. 1 Anxiety disorders can be long-lasting and require treatment. It is the most common mental illness in the US and impacts 40 million adults yearly.2
In fact, during 2019, more than 15 percent of adults experienced anxiety symptoms that were mild, moderate, or severe in a two-week period.3 Yet the appearance of anxiety symptoms differs between men and women.19 percent of women had mild, moderate, or severe symptoms during the two weeks compared to 11.9 percent of men.4 However, adults aren’t the only group to suffer from an anxiety disorder.1 Anxiety disorders also impact children and adolescents. Roughly 25.1 percent of adolescents ages 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder.5
The multiple types of anxiety disorders are even more concerning. Types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and phobias.6The amount of people experiencing anxiety disorders varies each year. But an estimate of 2 percent of adults experiences generalized anxiety disorder annually. Whereas 7 percent have social anxiety disorder and 8 to 12 percent have a specific phobia.7
Each anxiety disorder has symptoms. But there are shared symptoms of all the anxiety disorders.
- Difficult to control anxious thoughts or beliefs
- Feeling restless and tense to the point of daily life interference
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Performing poorly in school
- Engaging in substance abuse
- Possible avoidance of daily activities
If these symptoms last, do not go away, get worse and make daily living difficult, it might be time to speak with a mental health professional.910
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, involves counseling. The client discusses their feelings and thoughts. But they learn ways to cope with them.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often used to treat symptoms of depression. This form of treatment instructs the client on battling negative thoughts with problem-solving skills. The client also becomes more aware of symptoms and what worsens their depression.14
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “Facts & Statistics.” Adaa.org, ADAA, 21 Apr. 2021, adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics. Accessed 23 Mar. 2022.
MedlinePlus. “Anxiety.” Medlineplus.gov, National Library of Medicine, 2019, medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html. Accessed 23 Mar. 2022.
National Institute of Mental Health. “Anxiety Disorders.” Nih.gov, National Institute of Mental Health, 2 Dec. 2019,
www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders. Accessed 23 Mar. 2022.
Parekh, Ranna. “What Are Anxiety Disorders?” Psychiatry.org, 2017,
www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/anxiety-disorders/what-are-anxiety-disorders. Accessed 23 Mar. 2022.
Terlizzi, Emily, and Maria Villarroel. “Products – Data Briefs – Number 378- September 2020.” Www.cdc.gov, 21 Sept. 2020,
www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db378.htm. Accessed 23 Mar. 2022.