The Percentage Of People Experiencing Anxiety In America

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Imagine being scared to go outside, or presenting in front of the class, expect Anxiety is much more than being scared. Anxiety is one of many mental illnesses that people live within our society and though it is different for everyone, but they all can agree that it is not an enjoyable experience. Mental illness is defined as a disease that affects one’s mind, emotions, thoughts, behavior, or personality. Mental illness is a growing epidemic across the country that can come at any age, gender, and religion. There are over 200 mental illnesses ranging across Anxiety, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc. Recognizing what Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, and Schizophrenia are can help you calm down their episode and situation to not trigger it again.

Anxiety is defined as feeling anxious in everyday situations. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders. For general anxiety disorder many symptoms include, “Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge, being easily fatigued,having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank, Being irritable, having muscle tension, difficulty controlling feelings of worry, having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep.” (Anxiety Disorders). These feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Some may avoid places or situations to prevent these feelings. Symptoms may start during childhood or the teen years and continue into adulthood. Many people feel these symptoms during their anxiety attack, so it is important to distinguish the type of attack they may have. These symptoms may appear out of nowhere. Panic disorder is a condition that causes a person to be struck with extreme anxiety with no apparent reason. These panic attacks cannot be predicted. It is possible for the disorder to be a disability if it prevents a person from functioning because they live in fear of the next panic attack. They are shown as “Constant worrying about impending panic attacks, behavior changes as a result of attacks, difficulty breathing, sweating, highly elevated heart rate, trembling, chills.” (Panic Disorders: Open Path Psychotherapy Collective). The difference between general anxiety and panic disorder is that a panic disorder is uncontrollable, peeking around in 10 minutes then subsisting. You need roughly 4 of these symptoms to be considered a panic attack. A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that causes an individual to experience extreme, irrational fear about a situation, living creature, place, or object. Medical intervention may be the most likely form of treatment for panic disorder. Antidepressants chemically reduce a person’s anxiety level to relieve their stress. Anti-anxiety medications also exist that are used on a more immediate basis. Psychotherapy is also suggested to treat the fear of losing control that panic disorder sufferers face. Therapists are trained in exposure therapy that gradually lets a client confront anxiety causing stimuli in order to slowly reduce their fear. It can also be diagnosed with mental disorders. “ People who have a specific phobia avoid specific situations or objects that trigger their anxiety and fear, or they endure them with great distress, sometimes resulting in a panic attack. However, they recognize that their anxiety is excessive and therefore are aware that they have a problem.” ( Barnhill). This shows how they can be triggered by the simplest things. However, with some help from a professional they may be able to overcome their phobia with time. Some Anxiety issues are connected to Depression interlocking with each other.

Depression defined as how you feel, the way you think and how you act. What Depression looks like, symptoms, and treatments for it. Depression doesn’t discriminate against age, color, race, and religion. “ According to a 2015 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 6.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults.” ( Parekh) Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.” But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression.

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This shows how large the population of America with depression is a growing illness. Depression symptom list is, “ Sad, empty, anxious, helpless, worthless, or guilty, hopeless, irritated, less energetic Etc.” ( Bhandari) Many of these symptoms can be labeled for everyday people, however, if somebody feels like this every day, then it can lead to a serious problem. Nobody should feel like this on a day to day bases but if they do, then they should talk to their doctor. Treatment for depression varies from person to person but the majority of the time it looks like, “ Learn as much as you can about your depression, takes time to find the right treatment, don’t rely on medications alone, get social support, treatment takes time and commitment.” ( Depression Treatment) Depression is not a one size fits all, it varies from person to person. In the end however, it’s important to give the help somebody may need to get better. It is fighting the battle one day at a time. Depending on sever the Depression may get without any professional help, they may even lead to another type of mental illness.

Bipolar is experience depressive episodes with low mood and low energy and episodes of mania or hypomania with elevated mood and high energy. There are 5 types of bipolar disease but the three most common types are Bipolar I, Bipolar II, and Cyclothymia. Bipolar I is abnormal behavior that disrupts life. “ Virtually anyone can develop bipolar I disorder. About 2.5% of the U.S. population suffers from bipolar disorder — almost 6 million people.” ( Bhandari) This is an example of how horrifyingly common this type of Bipolar is. It can be managed with medication but is still an incurable disease. Bipolar II is different from Bipolar I because somebody never goes in full-blown mania. “ Flying suddenly from one idea to the next, having exaggerated self-confidence, rapid, ‘pressured’ (uninterruptible) and loud speech, increased energy, with hyperactivity and a decreased need for sleep.” ( Goldberg) These are some symptoms of this type of Bipolar disease. You may be able to recognize people in your life with the disease. Cyclothymia is a milder version of the other two Bipolar diseases. “ Cyclothymia can straddle the line between mental illness and normal variations in mood and personality. Some people with mild symptoms are highly successful in life, driven by their hypomania to express individual talents. On the other hand, chronic depression and irritability can ruin marriages and professional relationships.” ( Goldberg) Even though it is a milder version of the disease, it can still affect everyone surrounding that person. Knowing the difference between a form of Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia may help determine how to calm down the situation when they are in the middle of an episode.

Schizophrenia is defined as a mental illness that affects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave clearly. The cause, symptoms, and treatment of Schizophrenia are listed. Some people may be prone to schizophrenia, and a stressful or emotional life event might trigger a psychotic episode. Including genetics. “ The exact causes of schizophrenia are unknown. Research suggests a combination of physical, genetic, psychological and environmental factors can make a person more likely to develop the condition. Schizophrenia tends to run in families, but no single gene is thought to be responsible.” ( Schizophrenia) The exact origin of the disease is still unknown but the physical environments may contribute to Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can be shown different symptoms between adults and children. “ delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and the so-called “negative” symptoms.” ( Smith) These are the signs of Schizophrenia when it is becoming a serious problem. These signs shown should get evaluated by a doctor to confirm if they do have Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia does not have a curable medication but there is medication to maintain it. Psychiatric evaluation, tests and screenings, physical exam, diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. The doctor can help determine how to continue on the treatment and medication someone may take. May also be able to move to a nursing home if needed 24-hour observation.

Mental illnesses are a growing epidemic that we need to address. Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar, and Schizophrenia are the few growing diseases. Many need to open their eyes to see the bigger picture and realize that many are unable to control themselves. Many are okay with others having mental disorders however, once they need help when they are in the middle of an episode, they become uncomfortable to the point of being part of the problem and not the situation. We as a society need to know what these types of diseases are and help contribute to treating them and recognize that many are and will suffer from. 

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