Anxiety disorders are common in the United States. They are so common, in fact, that they affect 40 million adults 18 years of age and older. These disorders also affect 1 in 8 children, and when left untreated, can lead to a variety of concerns.
The Potential Effects of Untreated Anxiety Disorders on Children
When children have untreated anxiety disorders, they are more prone to experience academic issues. They are also more likely to miss out on or otherwise avoid important social experiences. Furthermore, these children also tend to self-medicate by engaging in substance abuse.
While these disorders are quite treatable, just 1/3 of the individuals that suffer with them are receiving treatment. In 2007, for example, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) conducted a survey on social anxiety disorders. The results of this survey showed that 36% of the participants claimed to have experienced symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking assistance.
When individuals have an anxiety disorder, they are 3 to 5 times more inclined to visit the doctor than those individuals without an anxiety disorder. Furthermore, they are also 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders.
The Aviva Health of the Nation Index for 2013 reported on the types of appointments general practitioners had during 2012. A total of 202 physicians indicated that 84% of their patients were experiencing issues with anxiety and stress. The presence of mental health issues were noted for 55% of these physicians’ patients.
A survey was conducted with approximately 2,300 American psychologists regarding their treatment of anxiety and depression. It was shown that 69% of these professionals used Cognitive Behavior Therapy on a part-time basis or in conjunction with other types of therapy.
Meditation has also been used to treat anxiety. After 6 to 9 months of meditation practice, 60% of the participants experienced a decrease in their anxiety levels.
In 2012, a review was conducted of 36 trials. In 25 of these trials, it was found that the meditation groups reported better outcomes for reducing their symptoms of anxiety when compared to the control groups.
Since there are effective treatment options available, it is hoped that more individuals that suffer with anxiety disorders will seek assistance from a psychologist. Cognitive Behavior Therapy, meditation, and other mindfulness practices have been shown to assist individuals with decreasing their levels of anxiety.