Dear Dr. LeCrone:
Each year more than 40 million Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder, and more than 20 million Americans will suffer with a depressive illness.
Often these illnesses manifest themselves with not only emotional symptoms but physical symptoms as well. Individuals often believe the cause of their discomfort and pain is an undiagnosed physical illness. In fact, a study done by the World Health Organization reported that 69 percent of patients with depression reported physical symptoms as the sole reason for their visit to their primary care doctor.
To bring awareness to the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depressive illnesses and to assist individuals in finding help, Freedom From Fear, a national nonprofit mental illness advocacy organization, is holding events during National Anxiety and Depressive Awareness Week, May 3–9.
Anxiety and depressive illnesses are serious public health concerns. They not only greatly impair the individuals that suffer with them but also impact the lives of family and friends Sometimes the symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders can become so severe that people lose their jobs, have very impaired interpersonal relationships or even wind up in the hospital.
One purpose of this awareness week is to guide individuals to seek treatment from a health-care provider. Signs of anxiety and depression include feelings of being down or blue; phobias; constant, uncontrollable worrying; poor concentration; loss of pleasure; sleeping problems; anxiety attacks; unexplainable aches and pains; headaches; obsessions; rituals; and ongoing feelings of nervousness or tension.
Each year anxiety and depression cost our economy billions of dollars, but the cost of human suffering resulting from these illnesses is immeasurable. They are real medical illnesses that can be treated successfully.
Individuals can visit www.freedomfromfear.org
, to learn more about anxiety or depressive illness and obtain a free screening. The toll free telephone number is also available, (888) 442-2022.
I am sending you this information in hopes that you will consider publishing it in your newspaper column. I know that you have written about depression and anxiety in the past, and I feel that the week of May 3-9 is an excellent opportunity for people to learn more about two very treatable conditions, depression and anxiety.
Thanking you in advance,
Mary Guardino, executive director of Freedom From Fear
Dear Ms. Guardino:
Thank you for this information, which I will pass on to my readers.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2009