Untreated anxiety is an extremely real problem.
According to the NIMH, or National Institute of Mental Health, more than 19 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, a study conducted by the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), done in 1999, found that only about one-third of those people seek treatment. Of those who do seek treatment, the stress may be grossly misdiagnosed, and, therefore, not treated properly.
Untreated anxiety is absolutely a real problem — and that question just grows as long as it is left untreated. Anxiety can eventually dominate your life, preventing you from living your life to the fullest potential. Long-term anxiety can even lead to depression or increased anxieties, which in turn will most likely progress to anxiety, or panic attacks.
Anxiety is stress, but it is extreme stress. When the brain is stressed, the immune system does not function properly, and this makes you more subject to illnesses, and will also make it difficult to get over illnesses that you do have. Common problems associated with anxiety include increased blood pressure, digestive problems, stomach problems, and sleep disorders. You may also experience stress related aches and pains, diarrhea, and dizziness.
These are not temporary problems. As long as the anxiety remains untreated, these problems will not only persist — they will expand into even worse mental health problems. Nobody dies from anxiety attacks, but they can certainly die from health problems that are brought on by the stress of anxiety.
Many people don’t seek treatment for anxiety because they feel as it is “normal” and that no treatment is needed. In most cases, anxiety is normal. We all feel anxious when things aren’t going well or when truly awful things happen.
However, no matter what the cause of the anxiety, if it is a long term, and left untreated, the problems that are coming are even worse than the ones that you are experiencing today. Do yourself, your mind and your body a favor — seek treatment!