Everyone experiences anxiety. Stressful situations make up a good portion of the day for most people. If you have to get your kids off to school every morning or have a daily commute on traffic-coked highways, you probably feel anxious during these times. Maybe you became anxious when you had to take a test in school and still do when you give a weekly report to your boss. Major life transitions, such as graduating from high school or college, or getting married or divorced, or experiencing the death of a loved one will cause extreme anxiety that can last for long periods of time.
Anxiety is part of living, of being human, and is an important component of your ability to set goals, perform at your best, and achieve what you put your mind to. Anxiety is also a warning mechanism telling you that things are not right or dangerous, propelling you to take action to protect yourself. In fact, without anxiety humankind would never have survived. It is a normal reaction to life situations that are unpleasant, sad, or scary.
General, manageable anxiety happens to everyone, but anxiety becomes a problem when it turns into a disruptive chronic condition that hinders how you function in daily life. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States, and approximately 20 million adults, adolescents, and children have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Disorders include panic disorders, social phobia, and stress disorders. Whether you or a family member develops an anxiety disorder depends on any number of related factors, such as heredity, life experiences, and coping skills.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder there are many conventional and alternative treatments that can help ease acute symptoms and set you on the path to healing and recovery. The most important elements in controlling anxiety include awareness, education, getting professional help, treatment, and reaching out for support. It can be intimidating and difficult to admit that you are having significant problems functioning in your daily life, but not getting help can lead to a chronic condition and years of suffering.
Anxiety disorders are often misunderstood and many people think you should be able to overcome symptoms of anxiety by sheer willpower. If you have an anxiety disorder you know this is untrue. This book includes information about anxiety and its disorders, conventional treatments as well as alternative therapies, and how changing your lifestyle can go a long way to vastly improving the way you feel. You'll also find resources and information on the latest research and self-help exercises and techniques to set you on your way to recovery.
Often the hardest part of getting control of your anxiety is recognizing that you have a problem and that you need help. In picking up this book, you've already done that, so you're well on your way. Just stick with it, be optimistic, and read on—help is only a few pages away.