Is Anxiety Disorder A Mental Illness? Myths And Facts

Myths And Facts of Anxiety Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders affect nearly one in every five adults in the United States. However, there are tonnes of misconceptions about this anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder is most commonly misunderstood with anxiety. So, here are certain definitions that can clarify why they are different from each other.

Anxiety can manifest itself in different ways, including a racing mind that replays the same worries repeatedly, sleepless nights, or sweaty palms. A small amount of anxiety or stress is a natural part of life. However, if these feelings last for two weeks or longer, or if they interfere with your ability to work, study, or enjoy life, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder is a common and treatable mental health problem that affects many people. Anxiety, like most illnesses, affects people differently, disrupting their sleep and thinking ability, with some experiencing severe symptoms and others undergoing milder.

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While anxiety is widespread in our society, however, statistics show that not everyone who suffers from it ends up receiving treatment. This could be due to mental health stigma, a lack of knowledge about where to seek help for anxiety, or a lack of understanding about anxiety and its treatable nature.

As a result, it’s critical to help people understand what anxiety is and how to get help for it. If someone you know suffers from it, you can get the help you need.

Read on to learn about common anxiety disorder myths and the facts that debunk them.

Myth: Anxiety isn’t a “valid” medical condition.

Fact: Anxiety disorders are mental illnesses characterized by excessive fear. 

Anxiety symptoms include fear, worry, and nervousness. Anxiety is something that everyone goes through from time to time. 

On the other hand, anxiety disorders arise when excessive anxiety takes over, interfering with your daily thoughts and activities. Your anxiety will not go away if you have conditions like worrying too much or related symptoms, and it will last for at least six months. Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Phobia/Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are some of the most common anxiety disorders.

Myth: Anxiety is only a short-term problem.

Fact: Fears do not go away for people who suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder has been described as paralyzing, overwhelming, and suffocating by people who suffer from it. It can deteriorate over time if left untreated. These strong emotions can obstruct daily activities such as work or school performance and harm personal relationships. Anxiety disorders are mental health illnesses that can be treated, and with treatment, most people can get their productive lives back. 

However, there is no full-proof treatment for anxiety.

Myth: The only way to manage an anxiety disorder is to take medication.

Fact:  Anxiety disorders are frequently treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two. People who receive psychotherapy and medication have better outcomes than those who receive only one. 

Although medicine does not cure anxiety disorders, it can often help to alleviate symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective in treating anxiety disorders. It teaches you to think about fearful situations in new ways and addresses your fears’ behaviors and reactions.

However, medications should be taken only when prescribed by a doctor.

Myth: Anxiety is just a way for someone to get attention.

Fact: Anxiety disorders have symptoms that affect a person’s body, mind, and behavior. Physical symptoms of anxiety can include problems with breathing, stomach, muscles, and sleep. Excessive worry about everyday life, nightmares, anger, and irritability can affect one’s thoughts. In addition, the disorder can have an impact on one’s behavior. You may lose your temper, avoid certain people or places, be easily startled, or limit your life experiences. These are all real symptoms of an illness, not attention-getting behaviors.

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Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder


Many people can function while suffering from anxiety – they go to work or school, interact with their families and friends, and follow their interests. However, anxiety will continue to affect them. If they do not seek help, doing these things may be more difficult or unpleasant.

If you’re still getting through your daily tasks, that doesn’t mean you’re not anxious. Remember that persistent anxiety that interferes with your work, studies, or enjoyment of life is not normal and should not be tolerated. Ignoring it could lead to the condition worsening or the development of other conditions such as depression.

If you suppose you might be suffering from anxiety, or even if you’re unsure what’s wrong but aren’t feeling well, now is the time to seek help.

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