Written by: Jill Heagerty
The most common type of mental illness are anxiety disorders, affecting 18 percent of Americans. We all experience anxiety occasionally from high levels of stress, but it is important to recognize the dangers of letting it go too far. There are three forms of this disorder: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobic disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder is a long-lasting, consistent feeling of being overwhelmed. This is the trickiest one to spot because anyone can fee anxiety for extended periods For diagnosis, doctors typically say if the feeling lasts for 6 months tIt can be a symptom of substance abuse, something chronic marijuana users should watch out for who think their choice of drug comes with little consequences.
Sufferers of panic disorder have short attacks of intense apprehension, frequently known as panic attacks, that include shaking, nausea, and trouble breathing. The scariest part about this anxiety disorder is it can escalate into agoraphobia, a fear of getting into situations that are challenging to escape. Sufferers can become so afraid of triggering another attack from these stressful situations that they don’t want to leave the comfort of their own homes, and what kind of life can these poor people lead if they are terrified of walking out the front door?
Phobic disorders are triggered be a specific situation or item. Many common phobias are arachnophobia (fear of spiders), ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), acrophobia (fear of heights), and astraphobia (fear of thunder and lightening). Most people have a fear of something, but a phobic disorder is extreme and can freak people out to the point that a simple experience or object sends them into a tearful tantrum. A few years ago a video of a girl who was a guest on Maury spread all over the Internet, as her extreme phobia of pickles was either pitied or mocked by viewers everywhere. The girl would cry and run away whenever she saw a pickle, an object that does not distress many at all, but she is the perfect example of how a daily item can cause severe stress from those with that phobic disorder.
The importance of this issue is that everyone suffers from anxiety, but if you have an extreme case that lasts for months at a time, seek help. There are medications and therapies that can cure you so it does not get to the point that you live in constant fear. I especially urge anyone with a phobic disorder to conquer it immediately. Never let something run your life, always keep control of your mind and body.