National Survey Finds That for Some, Worry Is a Full-Time Job

Survey Reveals Nearly Four Out of Five People with Generalized Anxiety

Disorder Are Concerned About How Much They Worry



Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from Freedom From Fear

    NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Everybody worries from time to time,
 but people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) spend nearly 40 hours per
 week, or a "full-time job," worrying, approximately three times more than the
 general population, according to a nationwide survey released today by Freedom
 From Fear.  The survey of more than 1,200 people also found that nearly
 80 percent of GAD sufferers are concerned and troubled by how much they worry,
 compared to less than half of the general public.  Affecting approximately
 five percent of the U.S. population, GAD is a debilitating condition
 characterized by persistent and exaggerated worry, anxiety and tension over
 routine and life circumstances, which can severely impact work, social life
 and family relationships.
     The survey also revealed that job stability, finances and health were
 among the most common worries that keep Americans awake at night.  While these
 are worries of people with or without GAD, what ultimately separates these two
 groups is the extent to which worry consumes their daily life.  For instance,
 nearly half of the GAD population polled reported having difficulty sleeping
 through the night due to their worries, almost three times more than the
 general public.
     "Worry means something quite different to the average person than to
 someone with generalized anxiety disorder.  To the average person, worry is a
 realistic concern that is motivated by an actual or anticipated life
 situation," stated Dr. Mark Olfson, Associate Professor of Clinical
 Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  "Yet to
 people with generalized anxiety disorder, worries are often way out of
 proportion to actual events. The worrying itself commonly interferes with
 their daily living."
 
     When GAD Takes Over Your Life
     The survey revealed that nearly nine out of 10 GAD sufferers indicated
 their worst anxiety significantly interfered with their life, nearly twice
 greater than the general public.  More specifically, nearly 80 percent of
 those with GAD polled reported being worried about making ends meet
 financially, nearly 25 percent more than the general public.  Furthermore,
 more than half of the GAD sufferers in the survey indicated that they
 experienced enough anxiety to impact their job, compared to less than
 one-quarter of the general public.  These findings are further supported by a
 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, which show anxiety
 disorders cost America approximately $42 billion each year.
     "The burden of worry on individuals with GAD often leads to a loss of
 revenue in the workplace due to factors such as poor productivity and
 increased absenteeism," states Paul E. Greenberg, Principal of Analysis
 Group/Economics in Cambridge, MA, and Director of the firm's Health Care
 Economics Practice. "Improved diagnosis and effective treatments will help
 reduce the long-term costs of anxiety disorders, including GAD, thus
 contributing to improved quality of life for people with anxiety."
     The economic toll of GAD can also cause disruption in sufferers' social
 lives.  Three out of five GAD sufferers polled reported that worry had a
 significant impact on their social relationships, compared to one-quarter of
 the general public.
 
     When Worry Becomes Uncontrollable
     Though everyone can report experiencing worry periodically, nearly
 three-quarters of the GAD population polled expressed difficulty controlling
 their worries, compared to less than one-quarter of the general population.
 Furthermore, people with GAD typically perceive themselves to be worriers and
 believe that others view them in the same way.  Seven out of 10 GAD sufferers
 polled agreed they have always been worriers and two-thirds agreed this is
 more than the average person.  In fact, eight out of 10 GAD sufferers from the
 survey have been told that they worry too much -- nearly twice that of the
 general public.
     "This survey reinforces that GAD is a devastating condition that
 encompasses much more than everyday worry and anxiety and often prevents
 people from fully enjoying their lives," said Mary Guardino, executive
 director of Freedom From Fear.  "We hope these findings will help people
 recognize the signs and symptoms of GAD and motivate them to seek professional
 help."
 
     More to Life than Worrying:  Treating GAD
     The good news is that there is hope for people with GAD.  Though only
 one-third of individuals diagnosed with GAD seek treatment, both medication
 and psychotherapy are, effective in relieving the symptoms of the condition.
 For more information about GAD or to receive a free screening by a mental
 health professional, call Freedom From Fear's National Anxiety Disorders
 Screening Day hotline at 888-442-2022 or visit http://www.freedomfromfear.org.
 
     This survey was conducted by Yankelovich Partners who polled 1,200 people
 within two key groups: the general public and individuals who screened
 positively for GAD.  The research compares the attitudes, behaviors and
 worries between these two groups, highlighting responses to their daily life
 and activities, employment and life goals and social relationships.
 
 

SOURCE Freedom From Fear
    NEW YORK, April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Everybody worries from time to time,
 but people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) spend nearly 40 hours per
 week, or a "full-time job," worrying, approximately three times more than the
 general population, according to a nationwide survey released today by Freedom
 From Fear.  The survey of more than 1,200 people also found that nearly
 80 percent of GAD sufferers are concerned and troubled by how much they worry,
 compared to less than half of the general public.  Affecting approximately
 five percent of the U.S. population, GAD is a debilitating condition
 characterized by persistent and exaggerated worry, anxiety and tension over
 routine and life circumstances, which can severely impact work, social life
 and family relationships.
     The survey also revealed that job stability, finances and health were
 among the most common worries that keep Americans awake at night.  While these
 are worries of people with or without GAD, what ultimately separates these two
 groups is the extent to which worry consumes their daily life.  For instance,
 nearly half of the GAD population polled reported having difficulty sleeping
 through the night due to their worries, almost three times more than the
 general public.
     "Worry means something quite different to the average person than to
 someone with generalized anxiety disorder.  To the average person, worry is a
 realistic concern that is motivated by an actual or anticipated life
 situation," stated Dr. Mark Olfson, Associate Professor of Clinical
 Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.  "Yet to
 people with generalized anxiety disorder, worries are often way out of
 proportion to actual events. The worrying itself commonly interferes with
 their daily living."
 
     When GAD Takes Over Your Life
     The survey revealed that nearly nine out of 10 GAD sufferers indicated
 their worst anxiety significantly interfered with their life, nearly twice
 greater than the general public.  More specifically, nearly 80 percent of
 those with GAD polled reported being worried about making ends meet
 financially, nearly 25 percent more than the general public.  Furthermore,
 more than half of the GAD sufferers in the survey indicated that they
 experienced enough anxiety to impact their job, compared to less than
 one-quarter of the general public.  These findings are further supported by a
 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, which show anxiety
 disorders cost America approximately $42 billion each year.
     "The burden of worry on individuals with GAD often leads to a loss of
 revenue in the workplace due to factors such as poor productivity and
 increased absenteeism," states Paul E. Greenberg, Principal of Analysis
 Group/Economics in Cambridge, MA, and Director of the firm's Health Care
 Economics Practice. "Improved diagnosis and effective treatments will help
 reduce the long-term costs of anxiety disorders, including GAD, thus
 contributing to improved quality of life for people with anxiety."
     The economic toll of GAD can also cause disruption in sufferers' social
 lives.  Three out of five GAD sufferers polled reported that worry had a
 significant impact on their social relationships, compared to one-quarter of
 the general public.
 
     When Worry Becomes Uncontrollable
     Though everyone can report experiencing worry periodically, nearly
 three-quarters of the GAD population polled expressed difficulty controlling
 their worries, compared to less than one-quarter of the general population.
 Furthermore, people with GAD typically perceive themselves to be worriers and
 believe that others view them in the same way.  Seven out of 10 GAD sufferers
 polled agreed they have always been worriers and two-thirds agreed this is
 more than the average person.  In fact, eight out of 10 GAD sufferers from the
 survey have been told that they worry too much -- nearly twice that of the
 general public.
     "This survey reinforces that GAD is a devastating condition that
 encompasses much more than everyday worry and anxiety and often prevents
 people from fully enjoying their lives," said Mary Guardino, executive
 director of Freedom From Fear.  "We hope these findings will help people
 recognize the signs and symptoms of GAD and motivate them to seek professional
 help."
 
     More to Life than Worrying:  Treating GAD
     The good news is that there is hope for people with GAD.  Though only
 one-third of individuals diagnosed with GAD seek treatment, both medication
 and psychotherapy are, effective in relieving the symptoms of the condition.
 For more information about GAD or to receive a free screening by a mental
 health professional, call Freedom From Fear's National Anxiety Disorders
 Screening Day hotline at 888-442-2022 or visit http://www.freedomfromfear.org.
 
     This survey was conducted by Yankelovich Partners who polled 1,200 people
 within two key groups: the general public and individuals who screened
 positively for GAD.  The research compares the attitudes, behaviors and
 worries between these two groups, highlighting responses to their daily life
 and activities, employment and life goals and social relationships.
 
 SOURCE  Freedom From Fear