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Depression and Anxiety overlooked in America

Stephanie Gonzalez
University of Texas at El Paso
RWS 1301
Belekeh Chowaing Chagra


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Anxiety and Depression are two mental health disorders growing in America. The
concern with these disorders is the fact that they do not specifically target an age group nor a
gender. These disorders are growing rapidly affecting every age group. Although we have
numerous medicines to control anxiety and depression such as pills and therapy sessions to help
cope, the rates regarding treatment are very low. We are overlooking the damage anxiety and
depression is causing us by not seeking for help or treatment. By overlooking such disorders we
welcome them into our everyday lives, making it normal to live in such misery. Anxiety and
depression must be recognized and they must be treated. By treating such disorders we are not
just treating one thing, we are treating every other co-occurring disorder or illness. As a result,
anxiety and depression are real disorders affecting Americans everyday lives. Such disorders
take away our identity by the constant uneasiness that anxiety creates and the feeling of
worthlessness from depression.


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According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America anxiety has affected 40
million adults, yet only one third has received treatment. Depression affects 15 million adults,
and not only do adults suffer from these mental illness, but one in eight children suffer from
anxiety. When dealing with anxiety and depression, there is multiple factors that may contribute
as to why a person may develop these disorders. When relating to age groups, according to the
American Psychological Association, older adults with medical conditions have a higher chance
of developing depression. Teens are often too concerned with school, the stress of maintaining
high grades, taking advanced classes, and the pressure of being good enough for a college builds
up to the point of anxiety and depression developing without the students acknowledging that
such mental illness are a real thing.(Dwyer, 2014) Americans are not only at high rates with
anxiety and depression but we are at the top of the list when it comes to the highest country with
anxiety and depression rates. Many factors affect our stress levels, such as the economic levels in
our country, even if we are considered the Land of Opportunity.(Kelley 2013) For the reasons
that these mental illness are a big factor in our lives, we should consider the biggest problem;
how much we overlook anxiety and depression, and how most people do not seek help for
With anxiety and depression levels as high as mentioned before, it is clear that the
treatment levels arent as high. Only 38% of adults with mental health disorders get treated.
Many people suffer for years unwilling to seek help because there is a stigma that makes people
think that problems like depression or anxiety arent real or that they should be able to overcome
these problems on their own.(Oz, 2014) By overlooking depression and anxiety we not only
increase suicide rates but we also make these mental illness okay to be a part of our lives.


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Symptoms of depression and anxiety in older Americans are often overlooked and untreated
because they can coincide with other late life problems.(APA, 2012) By pinning anxiety and
depression as a normal thing not only do the disorders worsen but they can trigger other illness,
just like disease such as cancer can trigger depression, depression and anxiety can lower your
defenses, inviting new illness into your body.(Ginsberg, 2012)
Depression and anxiety affect a persons everyday life, by overlooking such factor it may
affect not only emotionally and mentally but also physically with our accomplishments.
According to the Anxiety and Depression American Association, untreated children are at risk to
perform poorly in school, miss out on social experiences, and engage in substance abuse. Such
mental illness interfere with a childs performance in school by taking away the motivation to
succeed. It may stop them from interacting with other children by making them feel
uncomfortable, and it may drive a child into substance abuse by finding something that will
make them feel good and calm.
Studies have shown that earlier generations suffer from anxiety at a much higher rate than
previous generations.(Markowicz, 2016) Not only does this affect the specific generation such as
the millennials, but it also affects the upcoming growing generations. Depression and anxiety are
not only triggered by general factors such as, stress related work, school, or traumatizing events,
but it is also passed on through genetics.(NIH, 2015) By pinning these mental illness as a bigger
issue in todays society, it is less understandable to the parents of those who suffer from them,
increasing the overlooked rates in depression and anxiety.


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Figure 1

(ADAA, 2010)
As shown above by the Anxiety and depression Association of America, the rates
regarding mental illness is tragically high. Rates are getting as close as 50%, showing how stated
before, earlier generations are showing high rates of anxiety and depression. And as shown
above, lifetime prevalence is almost half ways, slowly increasing the lifetime prevalence of
severe disorders since untreated depression and anxiety only gets worse over time.
As a result, overlooking such illness only worsens our everyday life as a community.
Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder,
duplicating our rates.(ADAA, 2016) If we keep overlooking this issue, our rates will only get
higher, creating a society being described as tender and delicate, we should realize that
anxiety among children is at an 80-year high.(Markowicz, 2015)











ineptitude(Markowicz, 2015) We should worry more about each other and try to create a


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change to keep each other healthy. Overlooking anxiety and depression is accepting them into
our every day lives, and making it okay for our children to be depressed and be a victim of
anxiety. The problem with these mental illness is the fact that they can be hidden, and most
people do not realize they are victims.
Figure 2

(Anxiety Centre, 2015)

As shown on the graph, 30% of people are not aware of the fact that they are victims of
mental illness. By not being aware of the symptoms, people overlook the illness altogether,
thinking it will go away eventually.(Oz, 2012) We need to take action and inform ourselves and
the people around us about the symptoms and treatments regarding these issues. If we wait any
longer, our rates will be closer to 100% rather than 50%. By treating depression and anxiety we
are treating other diseases as well, we promote optimism, and activeness.(Oz, 2012)
In conclusion, we should not let anxiety and depression take over our country. We should
open our eyes to the issue and understand that mental illness, just because they arent physical,
are still there inside of us.


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Ducket, M. (2016, August). Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved October
19, 2016, from adaa.org, https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
Dwyer, L. (October 3). When Anxiety Hits at School - The Atlantic. Retrieved October 23, 2014,
from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/10/when-anxiety-hits-atschool/380622/
Ginsberg, A. (2014). American Psychological Association. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from
apa.org, http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/aging/mental-health.aspx
Kelly, M. (2012, July 17). An Anxiety Epidemic Is Sweeping The US - Business Insider.
Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.businessinsider.com/an-anxiety-epidemichas-swept-across-america-and-our-broken-meritocracy-is-to-blame-2012-7
Markowicz, K. (2016, March 20). They cant even: Why millennials are the anxious ...
Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://nypost.com/2016/03/20/they-cant-even-whymillennials-are-the-anxious-generation/
National Institute of Mental Health (2015). Depression: What you need to know. Retrieved
October 19, 2016, from nimh.nih.gov
Oz, M. (2014, May 28). Don't Overlook Your Mental Health | The Oz Blog. Retrieved October
23, 2016, from http://blog.doctoroz.com/dr-oz-blog/dont-overlook-your-mental-health