10% of Israelis considering meds
Photo: Index open
Prof. Raviv: Kids require treatment
Photo: Center for Academic Studies
Secular Israelis are five times more likely to suffer from anxiety attacks than haredim, a poll conducted by the Center for Academic Studies has found.
The poll also found that over 10% of Israelis have considered taking anti-anxiety medication in the past year, and 8.6% have actually taken such medication.
Of secular Israelis polled, 11% said they had taken anti-anxiety drugs while just 8.4% of religious people and 2.1% of ultra-Orthodox Israelis have done so.
In addition, anxiety attacks are more common among senior citizens than young and middle-aged adults, the survey found, with 14.6% of Israeli citizens above age 55 taking anti-anxiety drugs. In contrast, just 8% of those aged 35-54 and 4% of those aged 18-34 have taken pharmaceuticals in the past year.
The survey also documented a general rise in anxiety, as in 2005 the Central Statistics Bureau found that just 7.8% of the population in Israel suffers from anxiety disorders or attacks.
Children aged 6-12 were also polled, through questionnaires for parents. Of them, 12.3% said their kids were extremely anxious and fearful.
Perhaps most surprising, however, is that despite the anxiety-inducing situation is Israel, this percentage is in keeping with the global average. Worldwide statistics document 12-20% anxious children in every given population.
But Professor Amiram Raviv, former head of the Psychology Department at Tel Aviv University, says the biggest problem lies in the fact that most children who suffer from anxiety disorders in Israel do not receive proper medical care.
"The poll shows that anxiety and depression are as common in most sectors of the population as the flu," says Tami Isher, a psychotherapist with the Psagot Institute.
"The difference is that the flu passes on its own while anxiety and depression usually do not. This is why, if you or anyone you know begins to suffer from unrelenting worry or fear for at least two weeks, you should see a specialist."
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