On this topic, Anxiety is usually more prevalent than Depression for me. Being a bit sensitive to various stimuli around me, I pick up different cues than others and it gets my head spinning. This may be partially due to my Autism diagnosis where in general, my senses are a bit overly sensitive a lot of the time. However, I am going to try and only focus on Anxiety. I have other diagnoses that are connected and overlap so it would get a little confusing if I included them.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
But what IS anxiety? It's not just worrying or shyness. It's a lot more than just that. And MedCircle, a youtube channel I highly trust for medical information spoken from true medical professionals still actively working their profession. This video I strongly recommend you watch. Especially if you aren't sure whether you have just common anxiety (worried about a presentation coming up) or medically diagnosable anxiety (something actually impeding and causing a disturbance in your life).
Here's How the 3 Levels of Anxiety Actually Work [Stress, Smooth Muscle, & Cognitive]
I've tried to explain this anxiety to my family, that it's not something I can just 'fix' or take medication to solve. It's now more of a lifestyle of maintaining care on what I do, where I go, and who I interact with. It's not that I won't have anxiety, it's the battle of keeping it from overwhelming me. I've even had family members blame me for trying to make a situation better to minimize my reactions...and get yelled at that I'm being difficult because they just don't want to change their plans. Situations like this call for boundaries and distance. We have done that and already brought our anxiety levels down quite a bit. For anxiety, I have general anxiety, social anxiety, and a touch of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD symptom not diagnosis). Both were bad before (i.e. not leaving the house or my room for years out of fear), but have been amplified due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So to top it off I also have panic attacks which involve hyperventilating, numbness of extremities, mind blanks, shakes, heart palpitations, vision loss, and sometimes vertigo. All of these are connected to Anxiety and Anxiety disorders which will be explained a bit more in the following video. I do not believe I have a panic disorder as my panic attacks only occur after my anxiety builds or shoots up due to specific stimuli. It does not happen often which kicks it out of being a diagnosable disorder.
The 5 Major Anxiety Disorders
I have been on quite a few meds to help with this and none really helped. If one did help, it also took my brain away (creativity, interest, curiosity, internal dialogue etc). To me, that doesn't work. Unfortunately, to some medical professionals, that might have counted as "working". I've also been given meds that immediately sent me into the ER so I am very wary of trusting many psychiatrists to fully listen and try to find the right answer. When I do fight the right psychiatrist, there aren't many medical options I have to test out to see if they work. After taking a gene test, I would have many reactions to most drugs out there today, so I am waiting for something that will be right up my alley and work with my biostructure.
There are some interesting facts about the following diagnosis I have:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men. GAD often co-occurs with major depression.
Social Anxiety Disorder SAD affects 15 million adults, or 6.8% of the U.S. population. SAD is equally common among men and women and typically begins around age 13. According to a 2007 ADAA survey, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) OCD affects 2.2 million adults, or 1.0% of the U.S. population. OCD is equally common among men and women. The average age of onset is 19, with 25 percent of cases occurring by age 14. One-third of affected adults first experienced symptoms in childhood.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) PTSD affects 7.7 million adults, or 3.5% of the U.S. population. Women are more likely to be affected than men. Rape is the most likely trigger of PTSD: 65% of men and 45.9% of women who are raped will develop the disorder. Childhood sexual abuse is a strong predictor of lifetime likelihood for developing PTSD.
More of this information can be found here.
My OCD is strange in that I get very strong moments where my OCD fits the diagnosable criteria. However, it's not that often and does not always consistently occur (such as my exhaustion and fatigue can write out the OCD anxiety bells and I'll just walk past what usually really bugs me).
Below are some really great videos going over more aspects and views on anxiety (also backed by science thank you). But if you or a loved one are going through anxiety, it would benefit everyone to watch these and learn how to approach those suffering from such a debilitating illness.
Living With High Functioning Anxiety | Jordan Raskopoulos | TEDxSydney
Anxiety: Hibernate, Adapt, or Migrate: Summer Beretsky at TEDxWilliamsport
Rethinking anxiety: Learning to face fear | Dawn Huebner | TEDxAmoskeagMillyardWomen
And Last but not least, a video going over some common and well-documented strategies for fighting anxiety! Make sure you seriously give these some thought and see where you can implement at least ONE of them that you aren't currently doing. Or if you ARE doing them all and still have anxiety, then you will want to definitely talk to your doctor about it. But usually, these steps are great for your overall health in general.
How to Deal with Anxiety for Good | MedCircle
I hope that this was informative and at least taught you ONE fact that you can adapt into your life to either benefit yourself or others around you. If you need more help on this or would like some materials to look into, send me a message and I will see what I can find for you!