People with disabilities are more likely to have secondary conditions such as pressure sores, fatigue and pain to name a few. An article published by the American Journal of Public Health reported that, “eighty-seven percent of those with disabilities reported at least 1 condition they said was a result of their disability, and 49% of persons without limitations reported at least 1 condition”². These secondary conditions also include mental health subjects such as anxiety and/or depression so it is important to discuss various health promotion interventions for these conditions.
Anxiety disorders affect roughly 40 million American adults and are reported to be the most common mental illness in the United States. Anxiety disorders is an umbrella term which encompasses generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder and specific phobias. The cost of anxiety disorders is more than 42 billion a year, making up almost one-third of the total mental health bill. These high costs are often associated with frequent use of health care services in individuals with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are actually highly treatable, but only one-third of those diagnosed are on a regular treatment plan which could reduce the future costs and prevalence rates.
Anxiety disorders are often combined with depression and nearly half of individuals diagnosed with one are diagnosed with the other as well. Depression can be a normal reaction to the stressors in life such as losing a job, going through a divorce, or the loss of a loved one. However, when these depressive symptoms continue daily and interrupt everyday functioning, medical attention may be necessary. The three main types of depressive disorders are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder. Depression can occur at any point in time in approximately 3 to 5% of the population and the lifetime risk is increased to 17 percent. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and/or anxiety whether in yourself, a friend, or a loved one and to seek help when necessary.