TAMPA, Fla. -- In recognition of World Mental Health Day, the Tampa General Hospital and the Florida Psychological Association hosted a panel discussion on anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health complaint in the United States. Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of fear, worry and nervousness.
The panel was made up of doctors, school staff and a pediatric clinical psychologist. The event was held at Plant High School in Tampa.
Bailey McDonald, a junior in high school, said she suffered from anxiety her freshman year in high school. She was also part of the panel and answered questions.
Her anxiety was so severe she did not want to go to school.
"It really started with me not wanting to go to the stores and go shopping with my mom. My friends would ask me to go to places and I would be like I don't feel know. I'm not feeling well," said Bailey McDonald.
"It was the thoughts of what if this person judges me. What is this person going to think when they see me? What is this person going to say about me behind my back that I can't hear. It was the social aspect of communicating with other people," said McDonald.
McDonald said she went to therapy sessions. She has learned to overcome anxiety and face her fears.
"You might feel that you're going to be judged or whatever, but you're not going to for reaching out," said McDonald.
Employees with Tampa General Hospital also participated in the discussion. Employees wanted to learn more about anxiety and how to better serve patients.
"We're trying to help patients coming in and not knowing what to expect," said Karti Hagen, a cardiovascular technologist.
The crowd viewed a documentary called "Angst." The documentary is designed to raise awareness around anxiety. The documentary interviews children, teenagers, educators, experts and parents.
To learn more about free crisis counseling and referrals to over 3,000 community resources call 211 or visit www.crisiscenter.com.