11 Mental Health Disorders That Are 100% Misunderstood

7. Panic disorder

In troubles - unhappy woman in car Woman with hands on eyes sitting depressed | iStock.com/Martinan

Panic disorder is actually fairly common, affecting approximately 6 million people in the U.S. each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. However, people unfamiliar with the disorder misunderstand it, assuming it involves experiencing daily panic attacks. While that can be true for some, most only experience panic attacks once in a while. But they may be so fearful of having one they avoid activities that may trigger those panic attacks altogether, said Odessky. “They may even start avoiding situations or activities where they would feel unsafe if they were to have one, such as driving, shopping malls, attending concerts or crowded places, traveling far away from home, etc.”