There are quite a few reasons you should get screened for anxiety, including the pandemic, our uncertain economy, rising crime rates, your stressful work environment and more!
This is something the very government of the United States is advising its people and it’s good to keep in mind that this piece of advice is not only meant for those who are already struggling with mental health problems.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released a recommendation earlier this week, that all American citizens under the age of 65 should go to a doctor and get screened for anxiety.
This advisory group empaneled by the Department of Health and Human Services has the role of uncovering all kinds of underreported mental disorders so that they do not remain unnoticed and untreated.
With that being said, part of what they found is that the last few years have caused higher rates of anxiety disorders.
Naturally, the main cause is the pandemic but also other related and unrelated causes such as inflation, crime rates and the fear of getting sick and of losing loved ones to the virus.
The threat of fascism, global warming and long hours of work with insufficient pay can also be added to a long list of reasons Americans are seemingly experiencing more anxiety than ever.
Regardless of cause, research shows that the percentage of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression has risen from 36.4 percent to 41.5 percent between August of 2020 and February of 2021.
So how does an anxiety screening work?
Usually, such a checkup involves a questionnaire that will help your physician identify the signs you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
As for the next step, you will most likely be referred to a mental health specialist next in order to get properly diagnosed.
If it turns out you do have an anxiety disorder, the situation gets a little complicated.
This is because while the typical treatment involves therapy and/or medication, you may not have access to the meds you need.
Psychiatrist and department of psychiatry and psychology chairperson at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Jeffrey Staab, explains via the New York Times that the U.S. has a shortage of mental health professionals so this recommended screening program may not help much if it does not lead to people receiving the help they need.
In fact, that’s not the only problem. Staab goes on to stress that “When providers say, ‘You must have a disorder, here, take this,’ we could face an overprescribing problem. But the opposite situation is that we have lots of people suffering who should not be. Both outcomes are possible.”