Monday, October 18, 2010

Is anxiety a mental illness?

At the end of August, a professor from the University of Arizona contacted me about submitting a "first person account" of anxiety for a new text book he and his colleagues are writing. They've received a number of submissions from people dealing with various forms of mental malaise. I'm getting ready to submit my story, but am still hung up on the books title "First Person Accounts of Mental Illness". It just feels like there's a big difference between an anxiety disorder and, say, paranoid schizophrenia with delusions. My Dad, a clinical psychologist, used to say that anxiety and depression were the common colds of mental health. I tend to agree.

The professor said that he was open to alternate titles for this text. Any ideas? What do you think? Is anxiety a mental illness? And, if not, is there a better description for what we experience?

Hope everyone is enjoying this amazing fall weather!