WMU News

Free screening available for anxiety disorders

April 6, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- With the nation's military forces at war in Iraq and terrorist alerts on high, it seems this would be an appropriate time to feel anxious, but for millions of Americans, anxiety doesn't come and go according to world events. It holds an ever-present grip on their lives.

To help those who may be suffering from anxiety disorders, the Western Michigan University School of Social Work and Counseling and Testing Center are again taking part in National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day Wednesday, April 16.

A free program and screening is being offered from noon to1 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Brown and Gold Room--Room 242--of the Bernhard Center to help individuals learn about anxiety disorders, their symptoms and effective treatments. The program includes a video, information about anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses, a screening questionnaire, consultation with a mental health professional to review the questionnaire and a referral for help if necessary.

More than 38 million Americans of all ages, races and economic backgrounds suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders. Many highly successful businessmen, professionals and even big-name entertainers can be incapacitated by anxiety and depression. Such celebrities as Naomi Judd and Kim Bassinger, have suffered from depression, have experienced the benefits of receiving effective treatment and have chosen to speak about their illnesses.

Symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders include constant worrying, fear of social situations, anticipation of panic attacks, feeling sad or "blue," difficulty sleeping or concentrating, and frequent headaches for no apparent reason.

Sometimes symptoms of anxiety and depression are ignored or misinterpreted. Symptoms may be mistaken for another medical illness, people are afraid or ashamed to seek treatment, or they may not know enough about anxiety and depressive disorders to realize that they could benefit from treatment.

"As a person who suffered enormously from anxiety and depression, I want to share with people that life can be better," says Mary Guardino, founder of National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day. "Treatment works."

For additional information and to register, if possible, please call (269) 387-3193.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
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Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400