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Acute stress disorder, panic anxiety and paranoid personality disorders are common anxiety disorders affecting a majority of adults in the United States. It is important to recognize and understand these disorders owing to the high percentage of people affected by these disorders.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (n.d.), suicide is a major cause of death in America. Statistics confirm that more than 90% of people who commit suicide have a mental health disorder which can be diagnosed.
Mental health disorder could affect any on us, it could affect a family member, a friend or a colleague. Mental disorders are common in the United States affecting approximately 26% of Americans above the age of 18 years, amounting to one in every four people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). A report of the World Health Organization confirms mental health disorders to be among the primary causes of disability in the United States (The World Health Organization, n.d.).
40 million adults in the United States are affected with some kind of anxiety disorder. Common anxiety disorders affecting mental health are acute stress disorder, panic anxiety and paranoid personality disorders.
Anxiety disorders such as acute stress disorder, panic anxiety and paranoid personality disorders are common mental health disorders affecting a majority of adults in the United States. It is important to recognize and understand these disorders owing to the high percentage of people affected by these disorders.
- First I will explain each disorder briefly with its associated symptoms.
- Second, I will examine the population affected by the disorder.
- Third, I will discuss if and how the disorder can be treated.
Acute Stress Disorder
Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) is a psychiatric diagnosis given to an individual within the first month of experiencing trauma. It is similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Statistics indicate the about 13% to 21% of accident survivors had ASD and 19% of violent assault survivors had ASD. Symptoms of the disorders are feeling of detachment and dissociation of the self (National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, n.d.). ASD can be treated using cognitive behavioral interventions and psychological debriefing. However, there is a lack of evidence to suggest that people with severe acute cases of ASD (Bryant et. al, 1999).
Panic Anxiety Disorder
People with panic anxiety disorders (PAD) have sudden terror attacks accompanied by an increase in the heart rate, profound sweating, weakness in the body and feelings if giddiness. The attack can occur anytime and people with panic disorder may feel like they are having a severe heart attack. Panic disorder is more common among women than men and affects about 6 million of the adults US population (Kessler et. al, 2005). Panic attacks could have a disabling effect on the people affected by them and they should seek medical help and treatment to control it. People should avoid going to places where they had panic attacks before. It is a disorder which can be easily treated.
Paranoid Personality Disorder
Paranoid personality disorder (PPD) is a mental health condition characterized by mistrust of people, hostility, sentimental coldness, hypersensitivity and rigidity in beliefs (APA, 2000). Statistics indicate the prevalence of PPD from about 0.5% to 2.5% of the general public and about 10% to 30% among psychiatric patients (APA, 2000). PPD could cause serious dysfunction with elevated risk for depression and other anxiety disorders (APA, 2000). Treatment of PPD is difficult and requires serious medical intervention. The use of cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic approaches can be used to reduce the patients mistrust and self protective mechanism.
Anxiety disorders are commonly prevalent in the general population and have negative consequences. It is important to understand the symptoms of common anxiety disorders such as ASD, PAD and PPD so that the people affected by them can be received timely intervention and treatment. Failure to diagnose anxiety disorders can cause destructive results such as disability of functions , distress and violence. Knowledge of anxiety related disorders can help identify the people who need help to lead a normal life.
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th Ed., text revision). Washington, DC: Author.
Bryant, R.A., Sackville, T., Dang, S.T., Moulds, M., & Guthrie, R. (1999). Treating acute stress disorder: An evaluation of cognitive behavior therapy and counseling techniques. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 1780–1786.
National Institute of Mental Health (n.d.). Suicide in the U.S.: Statistics and prevention. Web.
Kessler, R.C., Chiu W.T., Demler, O., Walters, E.E. (2005). Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 62 (6): 617-27.
National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (n.d.). Acute Stress Disorder: A Brief Description. Web.
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The World Health Organization (n.d.). The global burden of disease: 2004 update. Web.
U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates by Demographic Characteristics. (2005). Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau Release. Web.