More than two years ago, our lives were upended, seemingly overnight, by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the more concerning casualties of this event is our collective mental health. The World Health Organization reports that anxiety and depression increased by 25% around the world and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 20%-30% of the population in the United States now have symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.
While these eye-opening numbers may provide some comfort knowing you’re not alone, you’re still struggling and you want a way out.
At Michigan Avenue Primary Care, our experienced and extensive team of health experts understands the toll that mental health issues can take on your life and we’re here to help.
In the following, we take a closer look at depression and anxiety — the numbers, the symptoms, and how we can help you break free.
In 2019, around 8% of the adult population in the US reported symptoms of anxiety. Less than two years later, this number has soared to between 28% and 37%.
This same jump occurred with depression, which went from a prevalence of between 6% and 7.5% among adults in the US in 2019 to between 20% and 31% by the end of August 2021.
This four-fold increase in anxiety and depression is dramatic, to say the least, but understandable given the unique circumstances of our lives over the past two years.
When we discuss anxiety, it’s an umbrella term for a number of anxiety disorders that include:
When you have an anxiety disorder, your body spends more time in a fight-or-flight response that can affect both your physical and mental health. For example, if you have a generalized anxiety disorder, you may feel your heart race or pound. Or, perhaps you’re prone to sweating and trembling.
On the mental side, negative thought patterns start to overshadow your life and you feel a sense of doom, inadequacy, and/or guilt. You may also have trouble concentrating and focusing.
It’s difficult to outline all of the possible symptoms of an anxiety disorder here as it can affect people in many different ways, but if any of the symptoms we describe sound familiar and they occur with some frequency, it may be time to seek help.
Depression, too, is an umbrella term for a number of different depressive disorders that include major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and postpartum depression.
With any type of depression, you may experience:
Here, again, symptoms vary from one person to the next, but the overriding hopelessness and sadness are fairly universal.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be struggling with depression or anxiety, we urge you to come see us. After an extensive evaluation, we can determine the extent of the problem and create a treatment plan that will help you reclaim your life.
It’s impossible to say here what that treatment plan may look like, but it might include:
In most cases, a multi-pronged approach to mental health delivers the best results. Rest assured, we work with you until we find the right combination of therapies for your depression or anxiety.
For more information about treating anxiety and depression, contact our Chicago, Illinois, office, which is located in The Loop, to schedule a consultation.