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Americans are more anxious than ever before, according to two new studies. Both focus on anxiety on campus and in the workplace.
More than half of students living on campus visit campus clinics, according to the Center for Collegiate Health at Penn State University. Researchers say the visits are disrupting student studies. In fact, anxiety has now surpassed depression as the primary health diagnosis among college students. The rate of anxiety in the workplace is just as shocking: according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 4.3 million full-time employees suffer from anxiety.
Overall, nearly 13 million American adults have anxiety problems. However, many Americans find the disorder difficult to explain and neglect to ask for help. Indeed, diagnosing and treating the disorder is complicated since doctors must work individually with patients to determine the best treatment option. Detecting the disorder can also be difficult, since employers and teachers can often fail to recognize the symptoms.
"Students who suffer from this acute manifestation [of anxiety] can feel their very real struggles are shrugged off, because anxiety has become so ubiquitous, almost a cliché, on campus," the Times reported.
Researchers have emphasized the need for employers and professors to ensure open communication in the context of mental health.
"Employers, unions, educators, health providers and all segments of the community need to work together so that we can help people surmount the challenges of anxiety disorders and lead full, productive lives," SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde said.
Generally, anxiety is treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication. A person who suffers from the disorder often experiences excessive, irrational fear and dread. With proper treatment, a person with anxiety can learn to manage their fears and lead a normal life.
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