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What are anxiety disorders?

It's normal and healthy to feel anxious at certain times. For example, many people experience anxiety before giving a speech or before a big event. However, in cases where feelings of anxiety, fear and general uneasiness are frequent and not tied to any specific cause or source, an individual may have a more serious anxiety disorder.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from some form of an anxiety disorder. In many cases, symptoms that accompany anxiety disorders negatively impact an individual's personal relationships and ability to work.

Panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder are among those anxiety disorders with some of the most severe side effects. Generalized anxiety disorder is a chronic form of anxiety where an individual worries excessively and may experience adverse physical symptoms as a result. Additionally, some people have specific phobias or may experience extreme anxiety and uneasiness in social settings.

For some people, prescription medications may be effective in helping reduce symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder. Additionally, cognitive and behavioral therapies in addition to exercise and mediation can help an individual learn to manage and cope with their feelings of anxiety.

Individuals who struggle with severe anxiety may not be able to recognize they need help or may feel be too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help. If left untreated, symptoms often grow more severe as do the resulting personal, professional and health implications.

Individuals dealing with a severe anxiety disorder may be able to qualify to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. When dealing with a mental health disorder, it's vital to focus on getting help. SSDI benefits can provide an individual with monthly income so he or she can get the help and therapy needed to improve.

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