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Forty million adults struggle with something worse than just occasional stress. These people struggle with the common mental illness known as anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

However, ADAA states only roughly 37 percent of those dealing with anxiety reached out for treatment.

Anxiety can come from a variety of sources, such as genetics, traumatic events or brain chemistry. It also has the potential to lead to more serious problems down the line. That’s why it’s important to not be shameful about it and seek help by talking to someone like a family member or medical professional.

I believe we often don’t speak about anxiety because it has been a taboo subject and one of those things you’re told to keep to yourself. People want to minimize it to just being stressed out or overly worried about something.

ADAA states that, “General Anxiety Disorder is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. Individuals with GAD find it difficult to control their worry. They may worry more than seems warranted about actual events or may expect the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern.”  

Anxiety is not about being concerned about just one thing. It’s different for everyone, but has some similarities. Anxiety could be constantly self-conscious, always worried about how you’re seen to others or being the perfect person.

Even though perfection is unobtainable, it becomes difficult to get away from of the mindset of wanting to be constantly ready for every possible minuet situation. Technology and social media also has caused an elevation of the disorder. In a recent study titled “Decreases in psychological well-being among American adolescents after 2012 and links to screen time during the rise of Smartphone technology,” by Jean M. Twenge, Gabrielle N. Martin and Keith W. Campbell, the authors found students who spend more time on screens than face-to-face are psychologically worse off.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are outlets where people can become targets of mental abuse by anonymous cyber bullies. Those being attacked on social media can often feed into the hurtful words and in turn become overly anxious about every little thing.

According to an article by Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D., technology can make us victims of comparing each other and therefore always being disappointed for not having the best.

Anxiety is a harmful circle of pain with the potential to lead to depression, psychological disorders, self-harm or suicide.

Those going through the misery of anxiety shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. There are several options for therapies individually or in groups. There are text and phone lines, online chats and video conferences to discuss issues. Mental health phone apps to help with daily sleeping, exercise and stress management are available. For crises, the suicide prevention line is 1-800-273-8255 and the crisis text line is 741-741.

For more information concerning therapy methods, visit adaa.org.

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