Common Anxiety Disorders Often Go Untreated
> 3/6/2007 11:11:25 AM

Anxiety disorders are an extremely common phenomenon, affecting as many as one in five people at any given time. Despite their prevalence, they often receive less press attention than other conditions, like depression, drug addiction and various eating disorders, that are seen as more damaging and make for more dramatic coverage. For patients suffering from one or more elements of the anxiety spectrum, however, the everyday struggles wrought by their afflictions are very real and potentially debilitating.

A new study published in this month's Annals of Internal Medicine illustrates how large a portion of our society is affected by post-traumatic stress, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, panic, and social anxiety disorders. Perhaps the most important fact demonstrated by this study is that almost half of these subjects receive no treatment. The study was nonrandom, conducted on nearly 1,000 patients visiting 15 health clinics throughout the United States, which makes it even more surprising that more than 40% of the patients affected by anxiety had not sought treatment for their conditions. Why do so many opt out of seeking medical attention for relief, especially while they are visiting general practicioners? Some probably do not realize that they are suffering from a diagnosable condition, believing that their worries are signs of a personal deficiency, weak will, or an inability to cope with outside events. For others, one of the major components of an anxiety disorder is, in fact, avoiding the very same disorder. Misdiagnosis is also an unfortunate possibility.

The study may have been skewed by the fact that its participants were mostly women, among whom anxiety disorders are reportedly much more common. But across gender, professional and socioeconomic lines, untreated anxiety disorders reportedly cost the American economy billions of dollars a year in the form of hospital visits due to related conditions, missed workdays, and the depression and substance abuse so common among these patients.

Anxiety Disorders Association of America offers several general self-tests for those concerned about the possibility of suffering from some form of recurring anxiety and considering whether to seek treatment. One of the study's major goals was to test a newly expanded anxiety survey in a clinical setting in hopes of developing more efficient methods with which to diagnose and eventually treat these disorders. This is an important step for the millions of Americans suffering from excessive, destructive anxiety. Early diagnosis is the best answer, and these studies will hopefully make it easier in the near future.


Fortunately, in recent years there has been a great deal of research on anxiety disorders. With appropriate anxiety treatment, people who suffer from anxiety disorders can learn to function efficiently.However, anxiety treatment often involves a great deal of work and fortitude. In time, you should be able to determine the most effective methods of treating your conditionDaniel.
Posted by: Self Help Zone 3/22/2007 5:23:02 AM

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