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Anxiety & Panic Disorders Health Center

Anxiety Disorder Is as Common and Debilitating as Depression

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A psychiatrist who spoke with WebMD about the study says she is not surprised by the findings that anxiety causes significant problems with work and social activities. "As clinicians we focus less on the anxiety disorders in people than on depressive disorders," says Mae Sokol, MD, of Menninger psychiatric hospital in Topeka, KS. "We need this kind of data because we can't just go by clinical judgments alone, so in that sense it's a very important study."

Sokol says the evaluation of social functioning is an important contribution to the literature. "Some people may not meet criteria for a major diagnosis as far as their psychological functioning from what you can get from them talking about how they are doing," she tells WebMD. "But they may have terrible problems with social interactions, and they need help, and these are important things to look at and evaluate."

But Sokol says it is also important for patients who suffer from anxiety to understand that there is help available and that anxiety is highly treatable with medication and behavioral therapy.

Vital Information:

  • Suffering from anxiety can negatively impact work and social life just as much as depression does.
  • Having both diagnoses results in an even greater degree of problems than either one alone.
  • Doctors tend to focus on depression over anxiety, but there are available treatments for anxiety.
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