Mental Health Association Announces New Name

Share Article

Anxiety and Depression Association of America Expands Focus to Bridge Science and Practice of Co-occurring Disorders

People are often depressed because of their anxiety and anxious because they are depressed.

ADAA is proud to announce its new name, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as it continues its 32-year history of bringing together clinicians, researchers and patients to improve lives through education, research and advocacy.

Formerly called the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the organization’s new name broadens its scope in recognition of the high co-occurrence between anxiety disorders and depression. ADAA focuses on the consistent message that all anxiety disorders—panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, OCD and PTSD—as well as depression, are real, serious and treatable.

Addressing Common Mental Illnesses
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults, with a lifetime prevalence of 29 percent. Anxiety disorders often emerge in childhood, or adolescence, affecting one in eight children; they often co-occur with depression and other disorders.

Major depression affects 3 to 5 percent of people at any point in time, with a lifetime risk of about 17 percent. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and more than half of those with an anxiety disorder experience depression.

Slightly more than one-third of those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and half of those with major depression report receiving no treatment, even though evidence-based treatments are available.

“ADAA has always included basic and clinical researchers; clinicians with training in medicine, psychology, social work, and behavioral health; and patients and their loved ones,” says Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, MD, ADAA past president and chief of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. “It is unique among mental health associations.”

ADAA’s new name reflects the nature of patients’ experiences, which frequently includes both anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as the realities of clinical practice and research. “It heightens the visibility of the two categories of disorders that affect the highest number of children and adults,” says ADAA President Terry Keane, PhD, director of the Behavioral Science Division at the National Center for PTSD and associate chief of staff for research and development at VA Boston Healthcare System.

“Our patients come to us depressed because of their anxiety and anxious because they are depressed,” says Karen Cassiday, PhD, clinical director and owner of the Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center, in Northbrook, Illinois. “Although I specialize in treating children and teens with anxiety disorders, including OCD and PTSD, I frequently treat depression and other related disorders.”
“We have long known that multiple disorders in patients are common,” adds Dr. Keane. “This is the right time to create bridges between those who do research and those who treat anxiety disorders and depression in order to improve the lives of patients with these illnesses.”

ADAA embraces the inclusivity of professionals with diverse backgrounds; trains and supports clinicians to implement scientifically informed practices to optimize treatment; fosters the exchange of preclinical and clinical research; and provides public education to reduce stigma and encourage individuals to seek treatment.

About ADAA
The mission of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is to promote the prevention, treatment and cure of anxiety, depression and stress-related disorders through education, practice, and research.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jean Teichroew
Email >

Kate Mewhiney
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website