More Than Stressed Out: Addressing Anxiety and Panic – Pharmacist
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 29% of the US population experienced at least one Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) anxiety disorder during their lifetimes, with a one-year adult prevalence of 7% for social anxiety disorder (SAD), 2 to 3% for panic disorder (PD), and 3% for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).Anxiety disorders are about twice as common in women as they are in men. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no surprise that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show that the US population is experiencing significantly more anxiety. In fact, during the period from the last 2 weeks in August 2020 through mid-December 2020, significant increases were seen in the percentage of adults who reported experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder (from 31.4% to 36.9%). During the same time frame, adults who reported taking prescription medication or receiving counseling for a mental health disorder of any kind increased from 22.4% to 25.0%. The percentage of people with unmet mental health treatment needs was significantly higher during the pandemic and rose from 9.2% in August 2020 to 12.4% in December of 2020.