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Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by physical symptoms such as palpitations, sweating, irritability, and feelings of stress. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. In fact, anxiety disorders as a group are the most common mental illness in America. Children and adolescents can also develop anxiety disorders.
These disorders fill people's lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Unlike the relatively mild, brief anxiety caused by a stressful event such as a business presentation or a first date, anxiety disorders are chronic, relentless, and can grow progressively worse if not treated. People who suffer from anxiety disorders typically struggle with difficult symptoms such as agitation, feeling "uptight," worry, and apprehension on a daily basis. These disturbing symptoms can become so severe that they interfere with normal daily activities.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/1/2012
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