“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Barriers To Overcoming Anxiety Disorder: Being Unaware You Have Issues With Anxiety

Marilyn Folk BScN medical reviewer
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: April 9, 2019

The first barrier to overcoming anxiety disorder is being unaware that you have issues with anxiety. While this may seem like an obvious barrier, it’s an all too common barrier because there are many people who don’t realize they have issues with anxiety or that their symptoms are caused by anxiety unwellness issues.

For example, it’s estimated that approximately 30 percent of the adult population in North America experiences anxiety unwellness issues (anxiety disorder). Of that, one third aren’t diagnosed, are misdiagnosed, or don’t come forward about their anxiety issues.

30 percent of adults have anxiety disorder

This means that 10 percent of the overall adult population in North America don’t know they have issues with anxiety.

Anxietycentre.com members and therapy clients often tell us they struggled with problematic anxiety and its symptoms for years but didn’t know anxiety was the cause. We’ve also had many people tell us that the first they became aware of their problem with anxiety was when they took one of our anxiety tests.

We also often hear people have suffered for years because they thought a medical problem was the cause of their symptoms rather than a problem with anxiety. For example, we’ve had some clients tell us that they thought their thyroid was the cause of their symptoms. We’ve had others tell us that they thought their persistent heart palpitations were caused by a fault with their heart. We’ve had others tell us that they thought that their reoccurring unwellness feelings were caused by frequent flus or a ‘bug’ they couldn’t shake. We’ve had others say they thought their symptoms were caused by allergies. And still others thought their symptoms were caused by something in their diet or the ‘weather.’

Yet others have said they just thought their unwellness was caused because ‘that’s just how they were wired’ or because they were ‘born that way.’

Yet others said they just thought ‘everyone behaved and felt this way.’

We’ve also worked with a lot of people in their 60s and above that wished they would have known anxiety was the cause of their unwellness so that they could have addressed it years ago.

There are many other examples, as well.

The first barrier to recovery is being unaware that anxiety is the cause of your unwellness issues and/or symptoms.

This barrier can be eliminated by discussing your unwellness feelings and/or symptoms with your doctor and mental health professional. Checking your symptoms online and doing some anxiety-related self quizzes can also alert you to the potential that issues with anxiety is causing or contributing to feeling poorly.

If you have identified problematic anxiety as being a cause of your unwellness, the next step is seeking good self-help information so you have a better understanding of what you are dealing with. As you become more familiar with anxiety, the final step in overcoming anxiety unwellness issues is to work with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor. As you work to address your anxiety issues, you can resolve them and return to a life free from problematic anxiety and its consequences.

Problematic anxiety can be completely overcome with the right information, help, and support. No one needs to suffer needlessly.

Take one of our anxiety tests to see if you are experiencing issues with anxiety:

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

Return to our anxiety tips page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including common barriers to overcoming anxiety disorder: unawareness.