May 11th, 2022
This week we are entering the third full week of May whichmarks National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week. This week is our country’s dedication to working towards ending the stigma against mental illness.
An initiative such as this one is deeply important as nearly one in five adults in the United States suffer from mental illness. Annually, 8.4 percent of adults experience a depressive episode and 19.1 percent of adults are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. These findings make depression and anxiety disorders some of the most common mental health disorders to be diagnosed in American adults.
With the high prevalence of anxiety and depression in the United States, either you or someone you love is likely to experience one of these mental health conditions. You may have heard of these conditions nominally, but are unsure of what it means more specifically to have anxiety or depression. That is ok! Here, I will provide an overview of these classes of disorder to support you in developing your understanding of them.
Before I begin, it is important to clarify that anxiety and depression are not singular mental health disorders. Rather, they are classes of multiple types of anxiety or depressive disorders. I will describe each class of disorders below.
A brief description of each depressive disorder is provided below. Click on each diagnosis if you would like to gain more specific information about diagnostic criteria.
Again, a brief description of each anxiety disorder is provided below. Click on each diagnosis if you would like to gain more specific information about diagnostic criteria.
It is important to keep in mind that there are other alternative diagnoses for anxiety or depression besides the ones described in the diagnostic criteria above. In those cases, someone may be diagnosed with anxiety or depression otherwise specified or unspecified. Additionally, anxiety and depression can be caused by substance use, medication, or a medical condition.
Once someone knows that they have anxiety and/or depressive disorder, it is important to seek appropriate treatment.
To best treat anxiety and depression, it is important to utilize evidence-based treatments (EBTs). EBTs are noted as having scientific data to support the claim that they can manage the health problem they are treating.
Some EBTs for anxiety disorders include; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). EBTs for depression include CBT and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). Brief descriptions of these modalities are provided below:
Though anxiety and depressive disorder are common and disruptive, they are treatable. Building awareness of these mental disorders and their appropriate treatment can help to reduce the negative impact of these disorders and promote healing.
Written By: Sarah Kelly, LSW, CADC
At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in therapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic on (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.
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