Anxiety is a misunderstood disorder and there are a number of myths that exist. By understanding anxiety, people can be better prepared to find strategies to help overcome the symptoms.
**Myth: **Anxiety and panic attacks can kill you.
Panic attacks are scary and can make people feel as if they are dying. Symptoms can include chest pains and heart palpitations. People can feel as if they cannot breath. Even so, an anxiety attack or a panic attack cannot kill a person. The symptoms can last long enough for someone to seek medical help, however, symptoms will subside over time. Anxiety disorders are treatable and millions of people have learned to control anxiety attacks through cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medications.
**Myth: **Anxiety attacks usually occur during certain situations and avoiding those situations will get rid of attacks.
Panic or anxiety attacks can occur at any time. Although many people have certain triggers that may bring on a panic attack, many attacks occur without warning. Sometimes, the fear of having a panic attack can bring on an attack. People who experience panic attacks are sometimes afraid of leaving their home because of the fear of having another attack in public areas or in their car, where they cannot seek help or escape from the situation.
**Myth: **Eliminating anxiety triggers will eliminate anxiety attacks.
Although some people can effectively eliminate or reduce some of the triggers of their anxiety attacks, such as if a person is afraid of dogs, they can cross the street if there is a dog nearby, this is not always possible. For one, anxiety attacks can occur for no reason and if someone does not learn coping strategies, just the fear of coming across a dog may bring on an attack. It is much more effective to learn how to cope with anxiety attacks and to seek medical help.
**Myth: **Not many people suffer from anxiety.
Anxiety disorders impact the lives of millions of people in the United States. It is estimated that over 19 million people in the U.S. have some type of anxiety disorder. The term anxiety disorder encompasses many different conditions. Some of the most well known types of anxiety include: social anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
**Myth: **There is no treatment for anxiety
There are, indeed, effective treatments for anxiety disorder. Many people are treated with either cognitive behavioral therapy or medication or a combination of both. Millions of people with anxiety disorder have found these treatments very effective in reducing symptoms and allowing them to live productive and satisfying lives.