May is Mental Health Awareness Month | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
TTUHSC students walking through Lubbock campus courtyard.
sarah mallard wakefield

Everyone at one time or another has suffered a bad mental health day. But when is struggling to get out of bed or feeling constant tension at work considered anxiety or depression? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported substantial increases in self-reported behavioral health symptoms began after the pandemic. One CDC report which surveyed adults across the U.S. in late June of 2020, showed 31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 13% reported having started or increased substance use, 26% reported stress related symptoms and 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days.  

Sarah Mallard Wakefield, M.D., chair of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Department of Psychiatry, said anxiety is maladaptive fear.  

“Anxiety is where the fear doesn't subside,” Wakefield said. “It actually hurts us. It's fear that makes us stay inside and not go see our friends. It's fear that makes us not engage in things that would bring us happiness. It's fear that makes us isolated and alone. Anxiety is fear on steroids.”



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