Anxiety is a general mental illness in America, with nearly 20 percentage of the youth population affected. Woman are twice as likely to experience life disrupting general anxiety disorder, GAD, and specific phobias than men are, however the numbers for those suffering with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are equal for the sexes. It is interesting to note that approximately 1/3 of all adult sufferers of anxiety disorders had experienced some symptoms when they were children. Women also hold the dubious honor of being far more likely to experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and twice as likely to suffer with Panic Disorders. In these studies it is noted that childhood sexual abuse is often a precursor for PTSD, and regardless of the age of the attack, rape will trigger PTSD in 65% of the men and almost 46% of the woman who experienced it.

We all face anxiety producing events in our daily lives,

Beginning when we were an infant and we realized our mother had left the room. From that day on the stress in our lives continues to be experienced, overcome, and the knowledge of our successes helps us move on to the next challenge. The child goes to school for the first day and both the parents and the child are anxious. The first sleepover, away camp, learning to drive, and going away to college are all important milestones that can cause normal anxiety in the parties involved, even though there may well be an undercurrent of excitement, also. For adults, the list for potentially stressful situations is virtually endless. Losing a job, serious debt, awaiting medical test results, the imminent death of a loved one are just a few. All of these and more are legitimate causes for anxiety. It is only when the anxiety becomes the defining factor in a person's life, dictating their every move in some cases, that it is time to seek professional help. If the fears are no longer based in logic, if the affected person's daily life is seriously diminished, and if no amount of reassurance will ease their fears, it is time to obtain an evaluation from a mental health professional. There should be no stigma associated with seeking help with for mental health concerns. It is no different than hypertension or diabetes, in that, left untreated will severely impact the suffering person's ability to interact with their family, friends and co workers, and possibly escalate to where the affected person is unable to even leave their home. When basic daily functioning is impacted by the anxiety disorder, and the ability to enjoy life is disrupted, a family member may need to seek advice on how to best encourage their loved one to obtain necessary help. The need for this intervention is a vital one. An anxiety disorder left untreated can easily escalate to include other mental health concerns, including depression and suicidal thoughts. As miserable as this may all sound, help is readily available, and cost or lack of insurance does not need to be an issue. Resources for help are as close as the telephone directory or the computer, and many state and county mental health dispensary accept sliding payments depends upon the ability to pay.