Clinically Reviewed by Sarah Hogan, MA LPC
Sarah is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 13 years of experience in the behavioral health field as well as a certified provider of Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma. She has extensive experience in counseling and case management with local mental health authorities, emergency homeless shelters, leading high acuity response teams, and serving first responders/veterans.
Summer is here and things are starting to open up again. Mask mandates in the United States are being lifted. Businesses are planning for employees to come back into the office. And the travel industry reports that Americans are hitting the road again in record numbers. Which all sounds awesome! But, if truth be told, a lot of us are more than a little nervous at the thought of jumping back into pre-pandemic activities.
Anxiety presents itself as a wide range of symptoms and can be a result of biological factors or triggered by a change in environment or exposure to a stressful event. The global pandemic was the very definition of a stressful event and ushered in stressors that most of us have never experienced. Data from the Census Bureau shows that one third of Americans are currently showing signs of clinical anxiety and/or depression. Communities throughout the United States are seeing a rise in mental health issues and the demand for services is at record levels. But how can you tell if you’re experiencing something more serious than general anxiety and/or depression?
In order to help you navigate that question and decide on a course of action, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has created the GAD-7 – a seven-question survey that covers many of the same questions a health professional may ask. According to NAMI, the GAD-7, “helps people understand how their self-reported anxiety symptoms map to anxiety levels of people who completed the same questionnaire.” It also provides access to resources developed by NAMI so people can learn more and seek help when needed.
Anxiety and depression are treatable issues. Unfortunately, it can take years for people who first experience symptoms to get the treatment they need. By providing access to evidence- based information, and the resources and tools to learn more about anxiety, more people will have the necessary tools to take action and seek help. If you or a loved one is experiencing a high level of anxiety and depression coupled with an increase in alcohol or substance use, Plum Creek Recovery Ranch is here to help.