Anxiety Disorders Association of America
The mission of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) is to promote the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety and stress-related disorders through advocacy, education, training, and research. Anxiety is normal: It helps us get out of harm’s way and prepare for important events, and it warns us when we need to take action. But some people experience anxiety that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, overwhelming and disabling. When anxiety interferes with daily activities, it usually indicates an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses affecting children and adults. An estimated 40 million American adults, or about 18%, suffer from anxiety disorders.
About 20 percent of Americans with an anxiety disorder or depression have an alcohol or other substance abuse disorder, and about 20 percent of those with an alcohol or substance abuse disorder also have an anxiety disorder or depression.
The term “anxiety disorder” refers to the following:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – Characterized by constant, chronic, and unsubstantiated worry, often about health, family, money, or work. This worrying goes on every day, possibly all day.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – People suffer from unwanted and intrusive thoughts that they cant seem to get out of their heads (obsessions), often compelling them to repeatedly perform ritualistic behaviors and routines (compulsions) to try and ease their anxiety.
Panic disorder – Diagnosed in people who experience spontaneous seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and are preoccupied with the fear of a recurring attack. Panic attacks occur unexpectedly, sometimes even during sleep.
Panic disorder with agoraphobia – Some people stop going into situations or places in which they’ve previously had a panic attack in anticipation of it happening again. Their world may become smaller as they are constantly on guard, waiting for the next panic attack.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one, war, violent personal assault such as rape, or other life-threatening events.
Social anxiety disorder – The extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations
Specific phobias – People who experience seemingly excessive and unreasonable fears in the presence of or in anticipation of a specific object, place, or situation.
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) provides education and free resources for individuals and family members. The goal is that people become educated and comfortable enough to seek treatment for themselves or loved ones.
ADAA links people who need treatment with health care professionals who provide it and helps people find appropriate treatment and develop self-help skills.
The association also promotes professional awareness of anxiety and related disorders and encourages the advancement of scientific knowledge about their causes and treatment.
Please visit www.adaa.org.