Anxiety disorders represent the most common mental health problem in the country. Research estimates that almost 25% of the adult population of the United States will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. Individuals may experience more than one of these disorders at the same time, or they may occur simultaneously with depression or substance abuse. They can affect people of all ages. Unfortunately, many suffer needlessly, unaware that these are often treatable conditions.
We all understand what it means to be nervous or fearful. Who has not experienced some anxiety before taking a test, going for a job interview, getting lost in an unfamiliar place, or worrying over the health or safety of a loved one?
It is commonly believed that we are born with an anxiety system. Some speak of it as an "alarm system." A system that goes off in the face of that which is perceived to be a threat, stressor, or danger. It is thought by many to be a primitive system, one which is not amenable to simple logic or reassurance. MORE