My wife was preparing a tutorial / seminar on anxiety yesterday (she's a GP) and drew my attention to the Guidelines in Practice from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) on general anxiety disorders issued in September 2011.
Now I summarise just a little (but not much) when I say that they suggest that to screen for a general anxiety disorder you have to ask a patient:
Over the last two weeks how often have you been bothered by the following problems:
- feeling nervous anxious or on edge?
- not being able to stop or control worrying?
NICE says that if you do one of these two things on more than half of all days in a fortnight days you may well have a general anxiety disorder.
Which by my reckoning means that right now any person with the slightest interest in the economy should have a general anxiety disorder - and a pretty massive one at that.
So have we at last defined Catch 22? Those without anxiety about the economy aren't sane and therefore can't be trusted and those with anxiety need treatment? Is that what NICE are saying?
The one thing I would suggest is don't ask your doctor - Lansley's got all of them just on the edge right now......