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Anxiety Disorders Affect 4.3 Million Working US Adults

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Julie Jacob, MA


About 3.7% of adults in the United States who hold full-time jobs—4.3 million people—had 1 or more anxiety disorders in the past year, according to a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report (http://1.usa.gov/1JTVQAV). This report was based on data from SAMHSA’s 2008-2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, derived from responses from 67 500 people 12 years and older in the United States who took part in the SAMHSA survey between 2008 and 2012 (http://1.usa.gov/1Rtcf03). Anxiety disorders included obsessive-compulsive disorder, specific phobia, social phobia, panic disorder with and without agoraphobia, agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

The rates of anxiety disorders were higher for people who were employed only part-time (5.6%); those who were unemployed (6.9%); and those who were retired, in school, disabled, or otherwise out of the labor force (8.9%). A total of 12.9 million adults, or 5.9% of the US adult population, experienced 1 or more anxiety disorders within the past year. The percentage of adults in the United States with an anxiety disorder diagnosed by a physician increased from 4.3% to 5.7% between 2006 and 2013, according to SAMHSA.

“People with anxiety disorders can have a hard time gaining employment and sometimes dealing with certain situations, but, fortunately, with treatment and support they can make enormous contributions to the workplace and the community,” said Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA administrator, in a statement.

The agency has a toolkit, the Illness Management and Recovery Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) Kit (http://1.usa.gov/1FXwfCt), that provides health care professionals with information on various methods for treating anxiety disorders and other serious mental illnesses, including cognitive behavior therapy, coping skills, and medication management.

read more at JAMA

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