According to a recent survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness is the world. The constant and overwhelming worry and fear is often crippling and can have a huge impact on the lives of sufferers so it’s no surprise that 70% of those who attempt suicide have an anxiety disorder.
It’s a common myth that the stress of money, performing well in our jobs and juggling a career with family means that anxiety is a first world problem. This certainly is not the case however. Anxiety disorders are in the top 10 reasons for disability in all regions across the world except for East Asia and Eastern Europe.
Anxiety comes in many different forms and the most common are:
Generalised Anxiety Disorder - long-lasting anxiety that is not specific to a situation or object. This affects between two and five percent of the population but accounts for as much as 30% of the mental health problems seen by GPs.
Panic Disorder - a quick hit of terror often followed by trembling and difficulty breathing.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - repetitive obsessions and compulsions which affects between two and three percent of the UK population.
Social Anxiety Disorder - intense fear in and of social interactions.
Specific phobias - a fear of a specific situation or object.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - anxiety caused as a result of a traumatic experience. This affects about 2.6% of men and 3.3% of women.
Unbelievably, 38% of people with Social Anxiety Disorder experience symptoms for 10 years before they seek help. When help is sought however, sufferers can lead a perfectly normal and happy life. Well known people who have battled anxiety include Sigmund Freud, Adele, Johnny Depp, Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Streisand.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with an anxiety disorder, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programme page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us for help.