National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day
Free Screening Offers Help for Sufferers of Anxiety Disorders and Depression

Nearly a quarter of Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. Sadly, only about one third of those suffering will seek treatment for their illness. To help build awareness and educate about anxiety disorders, their symptoms and the effective treatments available, more than 1,000 mental health professional will be holding an Anxiety Disorders Screening on Wednesday, May 5th.

Sponsored by more than 15 national mental health organizations, National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day gives thousands of Americans across the country the opportunity to get screened for anxiety and depressive illnesses. This free program includes viewing a video, meeting with a mental health professional, completing a screening questionnaire and receiving a variety of educational materials.

"Abnormal anxiety is a serious public health concern. What complicates the situation is that individuals who suffer from anxiety often become severely depressed," says Mary Guardino, Executive Director of Freedom From Fear, a national non-profit mental illness advocacy organization. "We hope that National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day will guide individuals to the effective treatments available for both anxiety and depression."

"Many people don't realize that there are several kinds of anxiety disorders," says Guardino. "hope that events such as National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day will help increase the number of people who seek help and get treatment for their illnesses."

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Hallmark symptoms include, persistent anxiety involving excessive worry that lasts for at least six months accompanied by physical and behavioral symptoms including irritability, muscle tension, aches, soreness, restlessness, or feeling keyed up or on edge, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances.

Panic Disorder: Hallmark symptoms include a sudden, uncontrollable attack of terror that can manifest itself with heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, and an out of control or terribly frightening feeling similar to symptoms of anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Hallmark symptoms include repeated, intrusive and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) that cause anxiety, often accompanied by ritualized behavior (compulsions). Common obsessions include fear of dirt, germs or contamination, or a fear of harming someone. Common compulsions are excessive cleaning, counting, double-checking and hoarding. OCD sufferers recognize their behavior is irrational but are unable to control it.

Social Anxiety Disorder: Hallmark symptoms include a persistent and disabling fear of scrutiny, embarrassment, or humiliation in social situations, which leads to the avoidance of many potentially pleasurable or meaningful activities.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: This disorder is caused when someone experiences a severely distressing or traumatic event. The symptoms include recurring nightmares and/or flashbacks, avoidance of people and items associated with trauma, unprovoked anger, jumpiness, inability to concentrate and insomnia.

Research has shown that anxiety disorders can be successfully treated with medications and certain short-term psychotherapies called cognitive behavioral therapy. A combination of both of these "What is most important," says Guardino, "is that treatment works and pain and suffering can be relieved improving the individual's quality of life."

To locate a participating mental health professional in your area, please call 1-888-442-2022 or click here.