The Purpose is to inform the audience about the impact of anxiety disorders. I would like to help the audience understand and relate better to people with anxiety disorders.
My ideal audience would include family, friends, colleagues and even physicians. The presentation would benefit a larger audience as well. The topic is appropriate for a general audience interested in mental health awareness.
This topic is very significant to my audience because anxiety disorder is a growing issue in society and few understand what it is and how to deal with the issues those with anxiety face.
Fingernails on chalk board. Imagine how it would feel to have that 24/7 at various levels of intensity
Research suggests people with anxiety disorders have difficulty with social integration due to lack of understanding of the disorder and knowledge of how to interact with those who have it.
Introducing the main points to the audience
First I will discuss what anxiety is and how pervasive it is and how it can impact those with the disorder. Then I will discuss the lack of understanding of anxiety in society. I’ll conclude, in part by using my own journey with anxiety disorder, with ways to understand and interact with those with anxiety.
Transition to the first main point
For starters we will look at what anxiety is and its pervasiveness and impact on individuals and society.
First main point discussion
What is anxiety and how prevalent is it? According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (2015) “those with anxiety disorders worry much more than normal about everyday things”. They also note that these work in conjunction with other symptoms, some of the most prevalent are; being on edge, issues with focus, tension and insomnia (American Academy of Family Physicians 2015). A recent study suggests that anxiety disorders are the largest mental health issue in the united states inflicting roughly 30% of the population and those with anxiety disorders have a reduced quality of life and social functioning (Weisberg, 2014, p. 443). To round it off, according to earlier research anxiety disorders are a disability equivalent to depression (Wittchen, 2002. P. 169).
Transition to second main point:
Now that I have discussed what anxiety disorder is and how pervasive it is. Next, I will discuss how pervasive the lack of understanding and knowledge of anxiety disorder is and the impacts of that lack of understanding.
Second main point discussion
As Zanon describes in an article in vibrant Life magazine, people are reluctant to discuss mental illness issues because of the stigma attached (as cited in Heffernan, 2015 p. 13). It is commonly understood that stigma comes from a lack of knowledge and understanding. Even doctors are not immune from this lack of understanding. According to research by Weisberg only 28% of anxiety patience reported receiving satisfactory anxiety treatment at intake (2014, p446). While these numbers improved over time, only 69% of participants received satisfactory anxiety treatment over the 5 year follow up period.
Transition to conclusion
As you can see, the combination of a lack of understanding and the lack of knowledge of anxiety disorders and how to interact with those who have it can lead to great difficulty for anxiety sufferers to integrate successfully into modern society.
Summarizing the main points for the audience:
First I discussed what anxiety is and its pervasiveness in society. Then I showed how it is misunderstood and some of the impacts from that misunderstanding.
Ending with an effective closing strategy
In closing, the question is how do you help those that are dealing with anxiety disorders? I have some tips compiled by Carol Heffernan in a Vibrant Life magazine (2015), educate yourself, listen without judgement, ask how you can help, and adjust expectations. Then to round it off with one of my own, just be yourself. If somebody with anxiety has already let you into their lives, they most likely like you and would much rather you stay the same, predicable person you have always been, be more mindful, but most of all, they need you to be you.
(Heffernan, 2015 p. 14).
1. What are common misconceptions about anxiety disorders?
According to Carol Heffernan in Vibrant Life magazine (2015, p14) Some of the common misconceptions about those with mental illness are that they are either lazy, overly sensitive, unpredictable, prone to violence or will never recover. Of course the reality is every person has a unique path to and with anxiety disorder, they are no more or less prone to violence than anybody else and with proper care can live a fulfilling life.
2. How many people with anxiety disorders have multiple mental health issues?
According to research as much 66% of patients with anxiety disorder will currently have an additional mental illness while 90% will have at least one other mental illness diagnosis over their lifetime (Whttchen, 2002, p164)
1. What is the impact on minorities and the poor?
Research shows that quality of care is mixed, those with severe symptoms and impairment, on public insurance and an income of less than $20,000 receive adequate treatment (Weisberg et al. 2014, p448) while those with lower levels of education were less likely to receive adequate physiotherapy and racial minorities were less likely to receive any type of adequate care.
Heffernan, C. (2015). HELP for the Hurting. Vibrant Life, 31(3), 12-15.
Information from Your Family Doctor: Help for Anxiety and Panic Disorders. (2015). American Family Physician, 91624A.
Weisberg, R. B., Beard, C., Moitra, E., Dyck, I., & Keller, M. B. (2014). Adequacy of treatment received by primary care patients with anxiety disorders. Depression And Anxiety, 31(5), 443-450. doi:10.1002/da.22209
Wittchen, H. (2002). Generalized anxiety disorder: prevalence, burden, and cost to society. Depression And Anxiety, 16(4), 162-171.