Anxiety in Adults
In adults, untreated anxiety can begin to impact relationships, professional performance, family functioning, and personal pursuits, and inhibit one’s full participation in life. Avoidance of situations that trigger anxiety symptoms can make it difficult for a person to accomplish required tasks, leading to increased stress, isolation, and experiences of helplessness. For this reason, many people with untreated anxiety disorders also experience symptoms depression.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Adults
OCD affects up to 3 in every 100 adults in the United States; approximately half of adult sufferers begin to experience symptoms in childhood. To be diagnosed with OCD, a person must demonstrate both obsessions, categorized as excessive, irrational, and/or inappropriate thoughts, and compulsions, including recurrent, observable behaviors such as hand washing, or “mental compulsions,” such as counting or praying. Common obsessions involve fear of harming one’s children, contamination concerns, nagging doubts about having locked windows or doors, repeated fears of acting in a sexually inappropriate way, fears of being gay if straight, or straight if gay. Common compulsions involve ritualized washing, checking locks or appliances, praying, and reassurance seeking. In adults, obsessions and compulsions related to OCD can be a source of considerable embarrassment, can take up hours of a person’s day, and lead to avoidance of daily tasks and experiences.