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"ADAA" redirects here. For the American Dodgeball Association of America, see Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and improving the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of anxiety disorders in children and adults. Anxiety disorder is the class of mental disorder in which anxiety is the predominant feature. This disorder, an illness characterized by constant and boundless worry that interferes with the daily life, is the most common psychiatric illness in the United States, affecting 40 million American adults.[1] The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is involved in education, training, and research for anxiety and stress-related disorders. The mission statement 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.[2]

ADAA offers free educational information and resources about anxiety disorders, local treatment provider referrals, self-help groups, self-tests, and clinical trial listings.


The ADAA was founded in 1980 by Jerilyn Ross, Drs. Robert Dupont, Arthur Hardy, and Manuel Zane as the Phobia Society of America.[3] ADAA changed its name to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America in 1990. The organization's headquarters is located in Silver Spring, MD. They fund scientific research through grants and awards and promote awareness that anxiety disorders are real and treatable.

ADAA is guided by a board of directors, scientific advisory board, and clinical advisory board and is supported through donations. The association holds an annual conference focused on the science and treatment of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders in children and adults. ADAA publishes self-help books such as Facing Panic, Triumph Over Shyness: Conquering Social Anxiety Disorder, in hopes of helping the estimated 40% of anxiety suffering Americans the opportunity to cope with and possibly overcome the disorder.[4] Furthermore, anxiety stems from a complex arrangement of factors such as life experiences, personality, brain chemistry, or even genetics, so as a developing, mental disorder, anxiety requires patience to overcome.[5] Informational brochures are available through the organization's website for further information.

In spring 2008, ADAA launched "Treat It, Don't Repeat It: Break Free From OCD," a national educational campaign about obsessive-compulsive disorder. The campaign included public service announcements featuring Howie Mandel, host of "Deal or No Deal;" Tony Shalhoub, star of the award-winning TV Series "Monk" about a detective with OCD; and David Hoberman, co-creator and executive producer of "Monk."

In June 2008, it was announced that ADAA would join with HealthCentral to provide further information, advice, and support to those with anxiety disorders. ADAA would create a blog to be used as an additional resource to HealthCentral's own website for anxiety disorders. Other features such as video interviews with ADAA experts and help for those with specific phobias were also planned.[6]

In 1980 a small group emerged and founded the Phobia Society of America (PSA) which is what it was primarily called, they promoted awareness of treatments for phobias. In 1990 the PSA changed their name to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, often referred as ADAA.[7] In 2012, ADAA changed its name from The Anxiety Disorders Association to The Anxiety and Depression Association of America to better reflect the comorbidity of anxiety disorders and depression.


ADAA promotes professional and public awareness of anxiety and other related disorders. It explains the impact of these disorders in easy-to-read materials. It encourages the advancement of scientific knowledge about causes and treatment of anxiety and related disorders. It helps people find appropriate treatment and develop self-help skills. ADAA works to reduce the stigma surrounding anxiety and related disorders.


ADAA has funded more than $1 million to 215 anxiety disorders researchers since developing their awards program in 1999. In 2009, ADAA supported 11 anxiety disorders researchers through their Career Development Travel Awards given to early career professionals with a research interest in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders such as basic and clinical neurobiology and psychopharmacology, clinical psychology,genetics, neuroimaging, epidemiology, and public health.[8]

From a pool of callers to the ADAA, 1000 individuals were selected to answer a 97 item questionnaire in order to ascertain information relating to social anxiety disorder, as well as sub-threshold social anxiety disorder. The ADAA found that those individuals suffering from SAD were likely to be younger in age, unmarried, and in lower income brackets than those non-sufferers in the control group. The ADAA found that sufferers of SAD made more extensive use of the health care system, and were also disadvantaged in many ways. In light of these facts, the ADAA strives to bring about public consciousness of the mental health issue and highlight the importance of early diagnosis and effective treatment, with the broad goal of improving people's lives.[9]


* Schacter, Daniel L., Daniel T. Gilbert, and Daniel M. Wegner. "The Accuracy Motive: right is better than wrong-Persuasion." Psychology.Ā ; Second Edition. New York: Worth, Incorporated, 2011.558 Print.

External links

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America website
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