Post a Day in May For Mental Health Awareness – May 4th – Anxiety

Anxiety Disorders

I have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population. (Source: National Institute of Mental Health)

  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
  • Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill, according to “The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders,” a study commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60(7), July 1999).
    • More than $22.84 billion of those costs are associated with the repeated use of health care services; people with anxiety disorders seek relief for symptoms that mimic physical illnesses.
  • People with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.

Anxiety and Depression

It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Facts

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population.
Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.

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Panic Disorder

6 million, 2.7%
Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
Very high comorbidity rate with major depression.

Social Anxiety Disorder

15 million, 6.8%
Equally common among men and women, typically beginning around age 13.
According to a 2007 ADAA survey, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help.

Specific Phobias

19 million, 8.7%
Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
Typically begins in childhood; the median age of onset is 7.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are closely related to anxiety disorders, which some may experience at the same time, along with depression.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

2.2 million, 1.0%
Equally common among men and women.
The median age of onset is 19, with 25 percent of cases occurring by age 14. One-third of affected adults first experienced symptoms in childhood.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

7.7 million, 3.5%
Women are more likely to be affected than men.
Rape is the most likely trigger of PTSD: 65% of men and 45.9% of women who are raped will develop the disorder.
Childhood sexual abuse is a strong predictor of lifetime likelihood for developing PTSD.

Related Illnesses

Many people with an anxiety disorder also have a co-occurring disorder or physical illness, which can make their symptoms worse and recovery more difficult. It’s essential to be treated for both disorders.

It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Read on to learn more about the co-occurrence of anxiety and these disorders:

Children with Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse.

Anxiety disorders also often co-occur with other disorders such as depression, eating disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Older Adults

Anxiety is as common among older adults as among the young. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder among older adults, though anxiety disorders in this population are frequently associated with traumatic events such as a fall or acute illness. Read the best way to treat anxiety disorders in older adults.

Treatment Options

Anxiety disorders are treatable, and the vast majority of people with an anxiety disorder can be helped with professional care. Several standard approaches have proved effective:

***WARNING***

Benzodiazepines

This class of drugs is frequently used for SHORT-TERM management of anxiety.

Benzodiazepines (alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam, and lorazepam) are highly effective in promoting relaxation and reducing muscular tension and other physical symptoms of anxiety.

LONG-TERM use WILL require increased doses to achieve the same effect, which WILL lead to PROBLEMS RELATED TO TOLERANCE AND DEPENDENCE.

Withdrawal from Benzodiazepines is ALWAYS difficult and can be dangerous.

Source: ADAA – Anxiety and Depression Association of America (Updated August 2016)



I will be posting something important about mental illness every day throughout the month of May on my blog in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Please keep visiting my blog My Loud Bipolar Whispers and look for statistics or other beneficial information related to mental illness to increase awareness, educate, reduce mental illness stigma and prevent suicides.

It is crucial and imperative for all of us to get involved and save lives.

So, please visit my blog every day, but especially every day throughout the month of May.

Mental illness awareness and education can save lives.

Opening the dialogue about mental illness can save lives.

Sharing your story can save lives. 

Please see my post about my new campaign titled, “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.” I need your help and hope you will be interested in participating in my new campaign. Thank you for checking it out. 

Much love and many blessings. Hugs, Sue

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