People with anxiety disorders are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not experience anxiety disorders (Anxiety and Depression Association of America). Anxiety disorders can go undiagnosed due to significant overlap in physical and mental health symptoms. It is common for anxiety to present as fear or worry, but may also present as anger or irritability. Mortality risks are increased due to associated physical causes, such as cardiovascular disease, and suicide. Physicians should screen to rule out causes of particular symptoms which may be somatic as a result of anxiety.
Screening for anxiety disorders can be completed in various settings. Members with positive screens should be referred to an in-network mental health provider for complete assessment.
GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) – 7-question screening tool to identify whether a complete anxiety assessment is needed. Recommended for ages 17 and up.
PC-PTSD (Primary Care Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) – 4-item screener designed for the primary care setting to screen for post-traumatic stress disorder
Anxiety disorders are one of the most common forms of mental disorders among children and adolescents (SAMHSA).
31.9% of adolescents have an anxiety disorder (NIMH).
Different types of anxiety within the child/adolescent population include:
Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors: genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events (ADAA).
Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (ADAA).
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