Anxiety Disorders: Myth vs. Fact
This information is courtesy of the Anxiety Disorder Association of America, and is available in .pdf format here.
Myth: Anxiety Disorders are rare.
Fact: An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from some type of anxiety disorder.
Myth: Anxiety Disorders aren't real illnesses.
Fact: Anxiety Disorders are real and serious medical conditions, much like physical disorders such as diabetes or heart disease. They may develop from a complex set of biological or environmental risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, or traumatic life events.
Myth: There is only one type of Anxiety Disorder.
Fact: There are five types of anxiety disorders, which include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder; Panic Disorder; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; and Phobias. The intensity of each disorder varies from person to person.
Myth: Anxiety disorders are part of one's personality and cannot be changed.
Fact: Although only about one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment, anxiety disorders are highly treatable with medication, therapy, or a combination of both. Talk to your health professional about the symptoms you are experiencing.
Myth: Women are affected by anxiety disorders at the same rates as men.
Fact: For four of the five anxiety disorders, women are twice as likely to be affected than men. These disorders include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder; Panic Disorder; Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; and Specific Phobias.