Anxiety Disorder: How My Misunderstanding Of My Wife’s Behavior Almost Cost Me Our Marriage

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“I didn’t know that my bubbly, fun-loving, and larger-than-life wife would ever have an anxiety disorder. She was a positive person, in her old life, before the “incident” happened to her. She was mugged right outside our home one night almost two years ago, and the animal also stabbed her in the belly. My wife was carrying our 4-month-old baby inside her at that time and lost him. I was too selfish to believe that she’d be fine just because she told me not to worry about her.”

 

Anxiety Disorder Is More Common In Women

One of the most common mental health illnesses experienced by young adults is Anxiety Disorder. A report states that it affects 1 in 5 females among those who are in the 16 to 24 age bracket. It also happens to 1 in 10 males in the same age group, as well. The most common type of anxiety suffered by the young adults is said to be Social Anxiety Disorder with 5.4%. Unfortunately, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder with 7.7% prevalence is also an issue.

“For the most part, anxiety is a condition that comes and goes. But for some, anxiety never goes away completely.” — Linda Esposito LCSW

Even Young Children Can Develop And Suffer From It

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For half the people who have an anxiety disorder, their first symptoms show by the time they’re 11 years old, which is younger as compared to other mental health problems. It is also worthy to remember that this differs from the types of anxiety disorders. For example, younger people experience Specific Phobia and Separation Anxiety Disorder as compared to other types of anxiety disorders like Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and PTSD.

 

Link Between Anxiety And Other Mental Health Issues

There have been studies proving that anxiety disorders are often related or occur with other types of mental disorders like depression. It is noted that anxiety disorders and depression have high comorbidity, or the situation wherein one or more illnesses will appear both at the same time. It is also said that experiencing or having anxiety disorders during adolescence can predict whether there is also a chance that other mental and substance use disorders will appear.

 

“For both anxiety and depression, it’s important to know when these symptoms and ways of thinking are taking over your view of your problems and your life.” — Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W.

 

Types Of Anxiety Disorder

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There are formal systems in place just for diagnosing mental illnesses, as well as for defining the types of anxiety disorder.

 

  • Specific Phobia – This one is about showing extreme fear or anxiety towards an object or situation that elicits fear or anxiety in a person when the said person faces it. The symptoms last at least six months.

 

  • Social Anxiety Disorder – People with this disorder avoid situations or interactions wherein there is a chance for them to be under negative attention excessively. Likewise, the symptoms last at least six months. A subtype of the social anxiety disorder exists wherein it is restricted in performance only, like public speaking.

“Mental health professionals who diagnose social anxiety disorder will look for a “persistent social fear,” “fear of performance situations,” “fear of being around new people,” “fear of embarrassing oneself,” and a “fear of being criticized by others.” — Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D.

  • Panic Disorder – It is characterized by frequent panic attacks that are often unpredicted and unexpected. Panic attacks are sudden feelings of extreme fear that reaches a peak within minutes. Symptoms of this include things like heart palpitations. People who experience this may show behavioral changes like being cautious when in situations that trigger their past panic attacks.

 

  • Agoraphobia – The disorder is characterized by avoiding events or being afraid of events that might cause panic or embarrassment.

 

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – Those diagnosed with this disorder show excessive anxiety and apprehension about situations or future happenings that are out of their control.

 

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – These are repeated motions or actions that end up as obsessions. It may include behaviors that include repetitive movements as a result of them acting on their urges.

 

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder – This disorder happens when an individual comes in contact with events that cause danger. Following said exposure might result to intrusive symptoms like nightmares, avoidance of things related to the event, negative changes in mood and cognition like experiencing dissociation, and high reactivity to things associated with traumatic situations.

 

  • Separation Anxiety Disorder – It is the extreme fear of being separated from an “attachment” figure. The symptoms of this one last at least four weeks for adolescents and at least six months for adults.

 

  • Selective Mutism – The disorder reflects a person’s inability to speak during situations wherein there is social interaction and expectation for him to talk.

 

One thing all of these disorders have in common is that people who have it experience a considerable amount of distress due to the symptoms.