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Anxiety Is Often an Undiagnosed Obstacle to Mental Health Wellness

Armen Hareyan's picture

Depression and Anxiety

New Survey Shows Anxiety Symptoms are Prevalent and Untreated in Depression and Bipolar Disorder

The majority of people diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder also experience symptoms of anxiety, yet almost half have not been diagnosed with or treated for an anxiety disorder, according to a new survey conducted by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). These findings suggest that both patients and physicians are not fully aware of the correlation between anxiety symptoms and other mood disorders: specifically depression and bipolar disorder.

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The DBSA survey polled 1,600 volunteer participants on a variety of questions regarding anxiety, and found that an equal number of those polled were diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. Of those people, 96 percent cited that they also experience symptoms of anxiety and 69 percent think these symptoms are related to their depression or bipolar disorder diagnosis. Yet, while many believe their anxiety is connected to their illnesses, only 44 percent of participants have been formally diagnosed with or treated for an anxiety disorder by a doctor.

These survey findings suggest that anxiety disorders are more prevalent than first thought, but their severity is underestimated. Paula Clayton, M.D., Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico Medical School explains, "About 85% of depressed patients have anxiety symptoms. This high level of anxiety can lead to longer depressive episodes, poorer response to treatment and more chances of suicide if the anxiety is not properly treated."

As a result of these findings, DBSA has created a special section on their web site http://www.dbsalliance.org/Anxiety/AnxietyIntro.html