Anxiety: “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”
October 13, 2017
Mental illness has been on everyone’s mind of late, but fewer people’s tongues. Psychological health conditions affect millions of Americans, yet it’s hard to talk about it openly for fear of being treated differently. Last week, we discussed dual diagnosis at length in observance of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). Dual diagnosis, otherwise known as co-occurring disorder, occurs when individuals have both addiction and another form of mental illness.
Anxiety is one type of mental illness that regularly accompanies addiction. It’s a disorder that affects roughly 40 million Americans over the age of 18, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Over 260 million people around the world are struggling with anxiety disorders, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. It’s fair to say that we are not talking about a rare condition. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America provides a more striking figure: Less than 40 percent of people with anxiety disorder get treated.
When individuals go untreated, they resort to unhealthy behaviors that can further disrupt life. Many in recovery from dual diagnosis can attest that they used drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms of mental illness. The result was a dangerous journey toward dependence and addiction. After receiving treatment for both substance use and anxiety, they were then able to cope with their symptoms in healthy ways.
Anxiety Disorder is Treatable
At Christians Drug Rehab, we observed World Mental Health Day on Tuesday. The primary focus was to shine a light on mental health in the workplace, with the expressed goal of encouraging employers to show more significant compassion. WHO provided figures highlighting the value of supporting employees to seek help for mental health disorders. What’s more, research indicates depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy around $1 trillion yearly in lost productivity yearly.
The above estimate is a testament to the importance of empowering individuals to seek treatment. Mental health conditions do not discriminate and affect men and women from all walks of life. Angst is a new documentary about anxiety and what we can do about it. The film includes interviews with experts and people in recovery. Olympic gold medalist swimmer, Michael Phelps, shares the value of talking about anxiety:
“I started talking about the things that I went through, and once I opened up about that and things I had kept inside of me for so many years, I then found that life was a lot easier,” said Phelps. “I got to the point where I understood that it’s okay to not be okay.”
Please take a moment to watch the trailer for Angst
If you are having trouble watching, please click here.