Anxiety and disability claims are the second most frequent reason for mental health disability. Approximately 1 in 4 people suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem each year (Kessler et al, 2005). Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health disorder that affects Americans, with 18% of the population (40 million people) suffering from anxiety disorders (Kessler et al, 2005). The term ‘Anxiety Disorder’ is an umbrella term which covers Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, etc. In 2013, Whiteford et al. assessed the global burden of numerous mental health problems and found that Anxiety disorders contributed to 14.6% of all ‘Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs)’, the second highest cause of disability in the entire study, following Depressive disorders. The disability burden of anxiety peaks during young adulthood but remains high and only slowly decreasing from then until old age. Kessler et al (2005) assessed the prevalence of specific anxiety disorders, and found that phobias were found to be the most common (at 8.7%) followed by social phobia (at 6.8%). Despite the high prevalence of the disorder, less than half the people suffering from anxiety disorders will receive treatment (Wang et al, 2005).
Although anxiety and disability are frequent, there are many treatment options available for the wide variety of anxiety disorders. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for instance, has been shown to be extremely effective, particularly for panic disorders, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (Butler, Chapman, Forman and Beck, 2006). CBT is effective at in reducing symptoms and improving quality of life (e.g. Telch et al, 1995), and CBT has also been shown to have lasting effects, well after treatment cessation (Hollon, Stewart and Strunk, 2006). One of the major difficulties in removing the burden of anxiety and disability is the availability of treatment for more severe and debilitating forms of anxiety and depressive disorders. These disorders are extremely comorbid with one another, with up to 60% of patients with major depressive disorder also suffering from an anxiety disorder (Kessler et al, 2003) so it is important that treatments target both disorders simultaneously. This ensures that a vicious cycle where one disorder impacts the course of the other disorder can be broken.
It is likely that you know somebody who suffers from an anxiety disorder, and you yourself may have experienced the debilitating symptoms associated with anxiety. Although the rates of anxiety are extremely high, there are many forms of effective treatment available. Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods. Although nearly all of our patients with anxiety and disability claims feel hopeless about getting their lives back, we have a proven record of success. The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety and disability in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies. Our treatment center provides services to those with anxiety and disability claims who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. If you or a loved one is showing signs of anxiety or depression, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery. Treatment for anxiety and depression can be highly successful. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.