Assessment and Intervention: Eating Disorders

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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 sympto​ms. 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 ca​uses, 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.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety:

  • Physical Symptoms: Rapid or pounding heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sweating
  • Tremors or twitches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Frequent urination or diarrhea

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Feeling tense or jumpy
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Constantly watching for signs of danger
  • Constant worry
  • Obsessive thoughts

Screening for 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:

  • Separation Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Social Anxiety
  • General Anxiety
  • Panic Disorders


Anxiety disorders are twice as common as dementia and 4 to 6 times more common than depression in the elderly.
For adults, anxiety is associated with:
  • Poorer quality of life
  • Significant distress
  • The onset of disability


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.

Treatment and Resources

Treatment approaches may include a combination of medication, therapy, and support. Additional resources for members and providers may include:

SAMHSA’s Understanding Anxiety: A Young Adult Fact Sheet

National Institute of Mental Health: Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

SAMHSA’s Understanding Anxiety: A Caregiver’s Guide

Molina Healthcare Case Management​​

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