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Mental Health Awareness - Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Depression and anxiety disorders are different, but it is not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. In fact, nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

Facts about depression:
  • 17.5 million Americans are affected by depression.
  • Two-thirds of people suffering from depression do not seek necessary treatment.
  • Eighty percent of all people with depression who received treatment significantly improved their lives.
  • The economic cost of depression is estimated at $30.4 billion a year, but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated.
  • Women experience depression about twice as often as men.
Anxiety disorder is a common mental illness defined by feelings of uneasiness, worry and fear. While anxiety occurs for everyone, people with an anxiety disorder feel an inappropriate amount of anxiety and find it difficult to control their worry.

Facts about anxiety disorder:
  • 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 18.1 percent of the population every year.
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9 percent of those suffering receive treatment.
  • 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 disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
Ways to help someone with depression or anxiety:
  • Don’t judge or criticize; avoid negative judgments and critical comments at all costs.
  • Educate yourself as much as you can about mental health.
  • Be patient, even when it gets hard. Remember your friend or loved one needs you.
  • Listen – don’t just offer advice. Just stop and imagine what it is like to be in their shoes.
  • Stay in contact, always invite them to events, and make them feel like they are part of a group.
  • Pay attention, notice when they are struggling and be positive with them.
  • Be forgiving if they say or do something you do not appreciate.

National Institute of Mental Health
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
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