Why anxiety screenings are now recommended for most adults
The USPSTF’s decision was motivated by the increasing prevalence of anxiety disorders and the difficulty of identifying symptoms in primary care settings, which delays treatment, according to the release.
What’s more, many people with anxiety have symptoms like insomnia, increased sweating, and muscle tension that can be mistaken for purely physical problems, board-certified psychiatrist Sue Varma, MD, PC, DFAPA, tells mindbodygreen. With this new screening, doctors will be able to connect the dots more quickly for those experiencing anxiety.
Since this is a recommendation and not a requirement, it may not happen immediately in every doctor’s office. However, the USPSTF has developed anxiety screening and made it available to physicians, meaning the hard work is done, so physicians may be more inclined to implement changes sooner. What’s more, the task force works with countless organizations to spread the word, including the American Academy of Family Physicians.
But why stop these shows at 65? “Many individuals in this age group may have physical symptoms of anxiety, such as aches, headaches, or insomnia, and these may actually be legitimate health problems rather than anxiety, leading to many false positives,” says Varma.
“At the same time, there is a high degree of anxiety for a variety of reasons — loss of mobility, good health, divorce, empty nesters, loss of friends due to illness and death in old age,” she adds, so it’s still important for doctors to watch for symptoms alarms regardless of whether official inspections become the norm.