Everyone worries from time to time: about that performance review coming up, that bill that you might have to pay next month or what it is that your unruly child might get into next and some amount of worry is actually helpful because we’re worry causes us to take action to resolve problems and avoid problems that our lives. But when that worry starts to feel like it’s too much, when it’s taking up more space than you think it should in your life – if you’re worried about a variety of things in your life more often than not, and that’s lasting for six months or more and that worry feels like it’s difficult to control and if you’re also feeling some other symptoms, maybe even physical or emotional symptoms like irritability or restlessness or difficulty sleeping or concentrating, then you might be experiencing generalized anxiety disorder. This is becoming a more common problem in this country. In the US, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that almost 3% of adults will experience generalized anxiety disorder in a given year and almost 6% will experience it in their lifetime. Now, if we expand those statistics to include other anxiety disorders – things like social anxiety and panic disorder – then about 1 in 5 adults will be touched somehow by anxiety in their life. So if you’re finding yourself experiencing worry to the extent that it’s impairing your ability to function or meet your social obligations in life, then please seek help from a mental health professional who can help you understand what it is you’re experiencing and then help you create a plan to feel better.
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