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frequently asked questions about anxiety

Here are several frequently asked questions about anxiety. 

Are anxiety disorders common?
How can I tell if I have an anxiety disorder?
Is anxiety life-threatening?
What causes an anxiety disorder?
Are anxiety disorders treatable?
Is it possible to suffer from more than one type of
anxiety at once?

Do prescription drugs cure anxiety?
Is complete recovery possible?

Are anxiety disorders common?
Yes. Over 40 million Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder right now. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point during their lives. If you suffer from overwhelming anxiety and fear, you are NOT alone.
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How can I tell if I have an anxiety disorder?
Only a medical doctor can diagnose an anxiety disorder. If you believe that you may suffer from an anxiety disorder, please see your doctor immediately. 

We suggest you bring your
self-quiz results with you and/or a list of the symptoms you have been experiencing to help you begin an open discussion with your doctor about how you're feeling. 

Is anxiety life-threatening?
No. Most people are relieved to know that although anxiety symptoms can feel terrifying or even life-threatening, they are in fact harmless. Your body is simply setting off a "false alarm" even though no real danger exists. 
What causes an anxiety disorder?
There are several factors experts believe can contribute to an anxiety disorder. Several of the contributing factors are:

  • Biological Factors (physical overreaction to stress)

  • Stress Overload/Lifestyle Factors

  • Childhood Environment

  • Thought Patterns 

  • Genetic Factors

An anxiety disorder is caused by a combination of several of these factors working together over a period of time. Usually one factor alone does not result in an anxiety disorder.

Are anxiety disorders treatable?
Most definitely. The most effective treatment options help the sufferer to do three things: reduce physical symptoms, change their anxious thoughts, and address their anxious or avoidance behavior.
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Is it possible to suffer from more than one type of anxiety at once?
Yes. People frequently suffer from more than one type of anxiety disorder at once. This is called comorbidity. 

Do prescription drugs cure anxiety?
Prescription drugs can be a helpful tool in reducing anxiety. They can help reduce physical symptoms and get the body on a more even keel, particularly when anxiety is so debilitating that it is difficult to function. 

However, prescription drugs are not a cure-all and do not alone address the root causes of anxiety. To find lasting freedom from anxiety, it is important to incorporate lifestyle strategies to reduce stress and react to it differently, change anxiety-promoting thought patterns, and address anxious behaviors.

Is complete recovery possible?
Yes. With proper treatment, change, and effort over time, you can completely recover from anxiety. In order to maintain lasting freedom from anxiety it's essential to reinforce daily the positive changes in your lifestyle, self-care activities, thought patterns, and behaviors. 

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Copyright © 2001-2012 National Institute of Anxiety and Stress, Inc.

All material provided on the web site is provided for informational or educational purposes only.
No content is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician
regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

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Additional anxiety related information you may find helpful:

Learn more about anxiety disorders.
Panic disorder and panic attack explained.
Panic attack and panic disorders explained.
Learn more about generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Social anxiety disorder and how they affect you.
Simple Phobias and how their related to anxiety
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and anxiety.