The painting by Edvard Munch The Scream

Anxiety disorders affect 18% of people aged 18 or older in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event (such as speaking in public or a first date), anxiety disorders last at least 6 months and can get worse if they are not treated. Anxiety disorders commonly occur along with other mental or physical illnesses, including alcohol or substance abuse, which may mask anxiety symptoms or make them worse. In some cases, these other illnesses need to be treated before a person will respond to treatment for the anxiety disorder.

Effective therapies for anxiety disorders are available, and research is uncovering new treatments that can help most people with anxiety disorders to lead productive, fulfilling lives. Cognitive-behavioural therapy has been shown to be highly effective in treating anxiety disorders.

Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms, but all the symptoms cluster around excessive, irrational fear and dread.

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How do I get help for myself or my loved one?

The first step in getting help is finding out whether you have a problem. A psychologist with specific training in the treatment of anxiety disorders can effectively perform a professional assessment, which will identify whether you have an addiction problem, and will recommend the treatment most appropriate for you.

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