Anxiety is not an illness – Some feelings of anxiety can be normal and often arise due to stress or a scary event such as public speaking, but an anxiety disorder is an extreme form of anxiety that can cause impairment and disruption of daily activities, and is a very real mental illness.
Having an anxiety disorder means the person just worries too much and can’t be treated – There is a suggested link between anxiety and genetic components but effective treatment such as medication and therapy can help anxiety stay under control. According to a research published in Current Pharmaceutical Design, as many as 2/3 of anxiety disorders are genetic. The most effective approach of treating anxiety is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Anxiety disorders aren’t common – While 2.6% of the population in the UK experience depression and 4.7% have anxiety problems, as many as 9.7% suffer mixed depression and anxiety, making it the most prevalent mental health problem in the population as a whole. Nearly 1 out of 5 Americans experience some type of anxiety disorder in any given year. Most people believe that anxiety disorders are rare due to their isolating behaviour. You may never encounter someone with an anxiety disorder as they are often avoiding social situations, conversations and events.
Anxiety gets better if you leave it alone – Anxiety does not get better if left alone. In fact, it gets worse. The average person with a diagnosable anxiety disorder tends to wait around 10 years before seeking or receiving help. Most people with an anxiety disorder who are able to partly function everyday often delay getting help in hopes that the anxiety will go away but this rarely happens. Furthermore, around 60% of people with anxiety disorders often develop some degree of diagnosable depression which also requires treatment.
Anxiety is easy to just snap out of and people don’t really have a problem with it – Anxiety disorders are very difficult to overcome without any professional guidance and help. Meeting new people, seeing spiders, being in closed spaces or avoiding germs can seem stupid to many people who do not have anxiety disorders so it can be easy for them to think that a person can just get over their anxiety. However, many people who suffer with an anxiety disorder suffer periods of anxiety that may not relate to any specific fear. Fear and worry often lead to avoidance which increases the fear and worry. This is hard to break and often needs help.