Long-Term Effects of Comorbid Anxiety Disorder

Although nervousness, fear, and worry are normal human experiences, some people are debilitated by their worries. When someone’s anxiety interrupts their […]

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Although nervousness, fear, and worry are normal human experiences, some people are debilitated by their worries. When someone’s anxiety interrupts their daily life, they may meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders account for the majority of mental health disorders in the United States. About 40 million adults in the U.S. (19.1% of the population) live with the condition.

Anxiety is also a highly comorbid condition, meaning it exists alongside another condition. Some studies suggest that as many as 90% of people with an anxiety disorder also have another condition.1 Many people experience comorbid anxiety disorder with things like depression, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders.

Thankfully, anxiety disorders are treatable conditions. Left untreated, though, the long-term effects of comorbid anxiety disorder can lead to some serious problems. How do anxiety disorders affect people, and what can you do if you’re living with one?

Types of Anxiety Disorders

The term anxiety disorders covers a range of conditions that cause excessive worry, which interferes with daily activities. Some types of anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent feelings of anxiety that interfere with daily life and last at least six months. According to generalized anxiety disorder statistics, about 2.7% of adults in the U.S. each year.2
  • Panic disorder: Panic disorder is a condition that consists of panic attacks or sudden, unexpected, and repeated episodes of intense fear and dread coupled with physical symptoms. Panic disorder affects about 2.7% of the adult population in the U.S.3
  • Social anxiety disorder: Social anxiety disorder occurs in those who feel extreme fear related to social or performance situations, especially when exposed to unfamiliar people or events. About 7.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced social anxiety disorder in the past year.4
  • Phobia-related disorders: Phobia is the intense but irrational fear of something that poses little or no real danger. Adults with phobia-related disorders may realize their fears are unfounded, but that knowledge does little to lessen their extreme anxiety.

Comorbid Anxiety Disorder

Comorbid anxiety disorder refers to anyone who lives with both an anxiety disorder and another condition. These include other mental health conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder or physical conditions like hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, or asthma.

Studies suggest that neglecting treatment for comorbid anxiety disorder can lead to many different psychological and physical effects. Some of the long-term effects of anxiety disorders include:

  • Dyspnea
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Gastrointestinal illness
  • Cardiovascular illness
  • Respiratory illness

Seeking treatment is the best way to limit the effects of long-term comorbid anxiety disorder. Mental health treatment programs like those at Pasadena Villa offer hope and healing to those living with severe anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions.

We offer a range of services to meet the needs of anyone trying to regain control of their lives. Through a combination of psychotherapy and medication management, Pasadena Villa offers individualized approaches to care for each person who comes to us for help. To learn more about the services we offer or find the program that’s right for you, call us at 407-574-5190 or submit an online contact form today.

References

  1. Drugs in Context. (2019). Comorbidity in social anxiety disorder.
  2. National Institute of Mental Health. (2023). Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
  3. National Institute of Mental Health. (2023). Panic Disorder.
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2023). Social Anxiety Disorder.
  5. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. (2020). Anxiety Disorders and Medical Comorbidity.

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