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We all experience some degree of anxiety in our lives from time to time.
In fact, anxiety can be useful, for example in alerting your mind to real risks. For someone with an anxiety disorder, however, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time.
Anxiety disorders interfere with normal living, and they tend not to go away without treatment.
These feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.
Whereas depression is characterized by predominant feelings of hopelessness, anxiety is characterized by predominant feelings of helplessness.
Anxiety disorders are estimated to affect 7% of the global population. In Canada estimates are between 10.5% - 12%. However, people living with chronic physical health conditions experience depression and anxiety at twice the rate of the general population. Women with anxiety tend to be affected – or to seek treatment - more than twice as much as men.
Older adults (55 years plus) are 20% less likely to have anxiety compared with younger adults (35–54 years)
There are six main Anxiety Disorders. These include: Social Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder with or without Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Specific Phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Children and youth may also experience Separation Anxiety.
Treatment can involve medicines, therapy or both.
There are resources and tools that can help you to keep anxiety at bay in spite of your chronic pain.