Under the Hood

Anxiety Cases Are On The Rise: Here’s What You Need To Know

Anxiety disorders are major health concerns in the United States because they affect 18 percent of the population at any given point of time. Of them, 3.1 percent suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, whereas less than half or only 43 percent recieve treatment.

Children are not too far behind these alarming statistics compiled by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Approximately 25 percent of teenagers, aged between 13 and 18 years old, are dealing with anxiety disorders too. 

Political Climate And Economy

A 2018 survey by American Psychiatric Association (APS), which involved 1,000 adults, found the various factors that contribute to anxiety. About 68 percent of respondents said they were either extremely anxious or somewhat anxious about keeping their family safe and health intact. Similarly, 56 percent answered in the affirmative to feeling anxious about paying bills and meeting their expenses.  

The economy, which goes through highs and lows depending on each government’s policies, is a huge source of distress for its unstable nature. Especially considering the fickle back and forth between the Trump administration and democrats, about 70 percent of Americans believe the political system benefits only the rich classes on Wall Street and Washington.

The recent survey conducted by NBC News and Wall Street Journal revealed that 43 percent said the aforementioned situation described their state of mind very well. 

Eco-Anxiety

Anxiety does not end with worrying about money and health alone. It also leads to catastrophizing about the impact of Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The rampant uneasy feeling is palpable by the number of climate activists that have taken it to the streets in America.

They have protested the dire lack of government intervention to stop the rising temperature, carbon emissions, environmental pollution, loss of tree cover and diminishing biodiversity, but to no avail. The psychological trauma as a result of climate change is on the rise.  

The anxieties are clearly reflected in a survey by Australian-based organization, specializing in mental health concerning young people, ReachOut. Four out of five high school and university students who answered said that they felt little or extreme anxiety about climate change. Furthermore, they said that these anxious thoughts plagued their minds every week. 

To deal with this unique mental health crisis, a U.S.-based organization, Good Grief Network, has set up several support groups to help people overcome eco-anxiety in the last six months. Speaking of topical issues, the current opioid crisis is also adding to the woes of sufferers of mental health conditions since they have a tendency to abuse substances in order to self-medicate. 

Anxiety is oftentimes a result of the political and environmental climate one lives in, hence it cannot be viewed in isolation as a personal issue, according to a recent story published on Dr.Axe.com. It is a sign of the times we live in. Social media has made forming genuine connections with people difficult, which is why millennials are rightly called the most anxious generation. 

The remedies are plenty and can be easily implemented with the right guidance, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), meditation exercises, eating healthy, taking supplements and being physically active. 

Anxiety Though anxiety is a mind problem, the disorder can often show physical signs and symptoms. Eutah Mizushima/Unsplash

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