According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly half of adults with a diagnosed anxiety disorder had symptoms of some type of mental health illness by the age of fifteen!
Researchers also found that issues detected in childhood were clues as to what kinds of anxiety disorders one would develop later in life.
This research highlights the importance of early diagnosis and prevention.
And that different anxiety disorders may have different etiological roots.
According to NIMH, "Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. It helps one deal with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep focused on an important speech. In general, it helps one cope. But when anxiety becomes an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it has become a disabling disorder".
If you think you have an anxiety disorder, the step in validating the diagnosis is to see your physician. A medical doctor will determine whether the anxious symptoms are due to an anxiety disorder, another medical condition, or both.
If an anxiety disorder is diagnosed, the next step is to see a mental health professional who has a specialty in dealing with anxiety disorders.
Research has shown that the combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, or insight oriented psychodynamic therapy along with medication offers the best results.
These statistics definitely apply in my case. I had panic and depression as a kid and could feel its crescendo in my teens.