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Anxiety Prevalence

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Misu, Jan 11, 2003.

  1. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    You know what I have noticed since I've started concentrating my studies in psychology (now that I finally got done with all the basic crap at school) - anxiety seems to be a common mental health problem in our society. It seems everyone I know or meet has either been treated for anxiety, or is currently under treatment for it. Why is this? I have my own theory, but I'm wondering what everyone else thinks?
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    New topic/thread Misu?? ;)
  3. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I think what we are seeing is the consequence of the industrial age. We now have much more time for entertainment. That entertainment is what we are placing our expectations on. I think in the past we just accepted our lives as what to expect. Now we all want to look like Mel Gibson and be able to solve all of our problems in the 22 minutes or 44 minutes of a prime time television show. Our anxiety comes from not meeting those expectations.

    The best advice we give each other is to be ourselves and accept ourselves for the being what we are. I am not trivializing the lows that anxieties can give you. I just feel anxieties are the result of expecting instead of accepting.

    Disclaimer: I am not trained nor I am attempting to explain anxiety disorders caused by chemical imbalances.
  4. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.
    --Alvin Toffler
  5. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Lets relax. We will all get whats coming to us. Violently.
  6. IamZed

    IamZed ...

    Hmm, how to figure out a PM. Nothing blinking, guess I have to go find it.
  7. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

  8. pupowski

    pupowski Banned

    That is a really big and subjective topic, but I'll give my brief analysis. Mood is a product of internal chemistry, and external (environmental) factors. Our thoughts and feelings, in essence, come from an electro-chemical soup. A small % of the population have inherent chemical imbalances which cause mood swings beyond normal range.They may require medication or therapy. A large % of the population have exogenous(external) stressors that cause vague physiological symptoms as well as mood swings. These are not candidates for medication, except for short-term crisis, such as death of a family member. Unfortunately, 90% of mental-health prescribing is done by GP's, who are not well versed in psycho-pharmacology. Some prescriptions are written so the patient feels like something is being accomplished. HMO's overprescribe because the Rx is cheaper than a referral to a Mental Health clinician or therapist. A large % of prescriptions for anti-depressants are not necessary, by my experience.

    Health care is very trendy, and prescriptive trends are heavily influenced by the drug manufacturers. One company flew a Psychiatrist cross-country for a dinner presentation to market resperidol to four clinicians, myself included. A bartender, servers, two drug reps, and a meeting room at a plush downtown hotel added to the cost, which I estimated to be over $7500.00. They can spend big because profit margins are huge. More than half of all "new" drugs are not new. For example, Zyban, used to stop smoking, is just Bupropion(Wellbutrin), in a smaller dose.

    Precription costs have outpaced inflation by as much as 1000% in recent years, because patent laws have been gamed to thwart competition. HMO's have similar problems. There is no uniform standard to judge industry performance by, so fraud is rampant. DRG's (diagnostic related groups) are used to determine billing, not services rendered, so there is a built in incentive to minimize care. US health costs are the Worlds highest, as a % of GNP. We spend 50% more than Canada(9.5% vs 14.3%), yet have 45million uninsured, while they have none. I have experience in both countries, and Canadian outcomes are generally better than ours. Our health-care system is second class, except the mental health sector, which is a national disgrace.
  9. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Wow pup - great post!

    So then you're saying that the majority of people's anxiety is being triggered by what's currently going on in our country - but my question really was why is it that TODAY there seems to be so many more people being diagnosed with "anxiety" when just 3 or 4 years ago, this diagnosis was unheard of?

    I am a sufferer of anxiety attacks - I've had them since I was a baby. My mother tells stories of how I would suddenly start screaming and not breathing in my crib, and she would have to hug me in order to calm me down and get me to breath again. So I've had this all my life, and tend to think my problem is a chemical thing - I've recognized my triggers and try to avoid them (except right now - one of the triggers that causes me to get extreme anxiety attacks happens to be staying up late!!).

    I agree with you about drug companies - it's amazing how they lobby doctors to prescribe meds. And what I find absolutely amazing is that most doctors actually DO prescribe meds more often than tell patients to seek a therapist.
  10. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Ahh Shiny, I think you're onto something with your post.

    I do agree that in today's world, we view ourselves differently than even our parents did (well, in my case, my grandparents). Back in their day, something happened to you or your country, you dealt with it. My grandmother was an abused person for most of her earlier life - she was abused by her parents and other family members growing up, married a violent man who she escaped from (only because her husband was about to do something really bad to my mother who was 3 at the time), and lived her life never really believing that people loved her or wanted to be around her because of who she was, not what she could give them. In many ways, my mom is like that, as well. However, my grandmother had her 'quirks' - in hindsight, I think she was severely traumatized - she was a major hypochondriac, constantly complaining of pains that doctors could find no physical reason for being there.

    But what does that say about mental health as a field? I don't think it says our mental health care is bad - I think it shows just how young the field really is. It's still a stigma in many parts of our country to say you're going to a therapist, and many people flat out refuse treatment with either pills or talk therapy because they don't want to be labeled as 'crazy'.

    I do think, however, that Americans have an extremely unhealthy view of themselves - I would almost call it a superiority complex. I think it's pretty evident with how our economy took a nosedive after the terrorist attacks. Our country's economy already wasn't doing so hot, but the attacks on our own soil with our own planes really hit it hard.
  11. jamming

    jamming Banned

    I think Pup loves Canada so much he ought to live there. Misu "anxiety" diagnosis, is the same reason that people where first diagnoised heavily for depression in the 80's, we learn more things. TB and Cancers use to be classified as Consumption, Alzheimers and Parkinsons used to be called Palsy. We learned more about those disease and we were able to diganose them better.
  12. valgore

    valgore Veteran Member

    I think genralized anxiety has been prevelant in our society for a long time and most of us have experienced it at one time or another. but what is anxiety? it's fear isn't it? maybe that's a bit simplistic but fear is a part of it. so what is it that people are afraid of?
  13. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    I think the pharmaceutical companies have a great deal to do with it. They spend millions (billions?) everyday advertising Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil, Xanax, etc. on TV, on the Internet, and in print media.
    People (especially hypochondriacs) have become much more aware of depression, anxiety attacks, and "social phobia". It has become almost trendy to have one of these disorders. I envision someday being able to discuss "which is better Celexa or Prozac?" with a total stranger in the grocery store checkout line.
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    It's a form of fear yes, but anxiety attacks vary in degree. Being apprehensive, for example, is normal, once in a while. Having dry heaves because of something that's upcomming in your next day is not.

    Shiny's post was a bit telling as to, perhaps, a why. We certainly do expect more from ourselves and Americans most of all. Americans work the most hours and have the least time off from any other country.
  15. jamming

    jamming Banned

    I understand what your statement is, but your intent is a little murky to me. I don't think of it as trendy, but in that it has left the stigma somewhat behind. Its not complete, but people are beginning to understand more.

    It was like that period of time people started to blame prozac for suicides, they found out two things through a more public discussion of the issue. One is that the people who sometimes did this were formerly to depressed to actively contemplate suicide and the second was that some people had atypical brain chemistry, people discussing this wanted to throw out the baby with the bath water. The Doctor's saw this public discussion and were able to accelerate certain studies and to address the issue in other ways. This is one reason think any psychoactive drug should only be perscribed by a psychiatrist if it is perscribed.

    I would actually like to hear people discuss psychoactives in the checkout line, it would make me feel less strange to know others are using these things. I also believe that a lot of people have screwed up brain chemistries from self medicating with illegal drugs, this makes me think that this is one of the hidden costs of drug abuse.

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