By Dr. Mercola

Forty million Americans, or 18 percent of the population, struggle with anxiety disorders, which are, collectively, the most common mental illness in the US.1 While anxiety is a normal response to stress, in some people the anxiety becomes overwhelming and difficult to cope with, to the point that it affects their day-to-day living.
There are a variety of anxiety disorders, each with varying symptoms, but most involve what can be incapacitating fear and worry. A sense of dread is also common, and the feelings persist for months, even when there’s no real reason to feel anxious. Examples of anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Panic Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder
Specific Phobias

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD, closely related to anxiety disorders)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD, closely related to anxiety disorders)

10 Behaviors That May Make Your Anxiety Worse

John D. Moore, PhD is an anxiety therapist in Chicago, Illinois. In a report for Psych Central, he explained there are 10 specific behaviors people engage in unintentionally that may make their anxiety worse.2
Dr. Moore suggests “rethinking your relationship with anxiety so that it becomes more manageable,” and a first step to doing that is to recognize potentially self-defeating habits. Don’t judge yourself if you recognize these habits, rather make a point to try to turn the behaviors around.
1. Denial

Do you deny that you suffer from anxiety? This can backfire and may amplify your feelings. This is particularly true if you struggle with OCD or specific phobias.

2. Avoidance

Hiding from your fears or apprehensions may seem like a reasonable way to beat anxiety, but it’s likely to make your fears expand. Dr. Moore uses the example of a fear of driving on highways. If you avoid highways and opt for side roads, you may soon

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