High cost of anxiety (Guest commentary)

Anxiety disorders more common than depression and have large impact on workplace
By Katy Kamkar
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/14/2008

It is well-established depression is associated with a significant burden of illness that includes disability, productivity loss and immense costs to employers, insurers and health-care systems.

While reducing this burden is important, anxiety disorders are, in fact, more common and responsible for at least as much personal suffering, disability, economic loss and cost to health-care systems as depression. In any given year, 12.2 per cent of Canadians meet diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder, according to Health Canada, making these problems much more common than mood disorders, schizophrenia and eating disorders.

Anxiety disorders encompass six main categories: phobias, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.