Nearly everyone feels anxious from time to time, but a large number of people have an actual anxiety-related condition. On average, 19 percent of American adults — close to one-fifth of the adult population — are affected by anxiety or an anxiety-related disorder (such as obsessive-compulsive disorder) every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
But while the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only 36.9 percent of people with a disorder actually receive treatment. In fact, the signs indicating an anxiety disorder can seem so commonplace that it’s possible for someone not to realize they have a formal condition at all.
How so? Simply put, anxiety symptoms can range from life-altering phobias, such as the fear of driving, to seemingly normal occurrences, like headaches or fatigue. While the latter two may not prompt you to believe you have a chronic condition, and may even confuse you into thinking you have two of the most common flu symptoms, they are also physical manifestations of high anxiety that — when combined with more specific physical or mental symptoms — can suggest you have a disorder.