Anxiety is a basic human emotion that is necessary to ensure survival (by alerting us to potential dangers) and success (by motivating us to prepare for important tasks). This type of anxiety is helpful and adaptive when it occurs at the right time and at the appropriate level of intensity.
When anxiety is irrational (i.e., not related to a real threat), developmentally inappropriate, exaggerated, chronic, and interferes with functioning, it is considered excessive and may be a sign of a bigger problem.
Approximately 10% of American children, adolescents, and adults experience this type of problematic anxiety. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common of all psychiatric disorders.
In addition to the extreme distress and negative impact on mood, excessive anxiety can interfere with an individual's education, occupation, parenting, relationships, self-esteem, and recreational activities. Excessive anxiety prevents people from doing what they need - and want - to do.
Although these disorders are associated with significant impairment in functioning, they are highly treatable. Decades of research show that the most effective treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and/or medication, in particular the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Your treatment team will present intervention options that account for factors such as age/developmental status, symptom severity and co-occurring illness, and treatment history. Referrals for medication evaluations will be provided as needed.