New Study Says 72 Percent of People With Anxiety Recover with Social Support & Spirituality

Epigraph:

Man does indeed transgress, Because he thinks himself to be self sufficient. Surely, unto thy Lord is the return. (Al Quran 96:6-8)

Source: Best Life

By Diana Bruk

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects 40 million adults in the country, which is more than 18 percent of the population. Those who battle it know that, at its worst, anxiety can be debilitating, and it can feel like there’s no end in sight. But a new study in the Journal of Affective Disorders says that recovering from anxiety is completely possible. The key is having someone to lean on and finding your spirituality.

Researchers at the University of Toronto examined a nationally representative sample of 2,128 Canadian adults with a history of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and found that 72 percent of them had been anxiety-free for at least one year. Almost 60 percent of participants said they had no other mental health or addiction issues, such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, or depression. In fact, 40 percent said they were in a state of “excellent” mental health, meaning that in the last month, they felt happy on an almost daily basis and felt high levels of social and psychological well-being. They also experienced freedom from any mental health issues in the past year.

The researchers found a few defining factors in those who reported feeling completely anxiety-free. Firstly, people who had at least one person they could confide in about their illness were three times more likely to be in excellent mental health than those who did not. “The social support that extends from a confidant can foster a sense of belonging and self-worth, which may promote recovery,” Kandace Ryckman, co-author of the study, said in a statement.

According to the study’s lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson, the director of the University of Toronto’s Institute for Life Course and Aging, the findings suggest that “full recovery is possible, even among those who have suffered for many years with the disorder.”

She noted their results also prove that there’s “a strong link between recovery from mental illness and belief in a higher power.” Among the participants, those who turned to religion or spirituality to cope with everyday difficulties were 36 percent more likely to have excellent mental health than those who did not.

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Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

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2 replies

  1. In our debate and arguments with different faiths and different sects, often the essence of Islam and emphasis on Monotheism is lost.

    My comment is for the Muslim audience. Read the above post carefully, perhaps most of the subjects of the study are Christians and note that their faith in the Merciful and the Gracious God is not futile. It cures their anxiety.

    In the same fashion belief in the Supreme Power as advocated by Alcohol Anonymous cures alcoholism.

    This should give us a pause about our segregated living in different sects and our often undue emphasis on the righteousness of our sects and vilifying of the others.

    Please give each other and non-Muslims a break and search for the universal principles of religions and life.

    May God be with all of us! Ameen.

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