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Why Is Anxiety So Common Today?

Anxiety comes in many different forms including generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, panic disorder, and more.

It affects 18.1% of the population of the United States making it the most common mental illness in the country.1 While our mental health treatment in Boca is designed to help people combat their anxiety, many people neglect to get the help they need. Anxiety plagues people of all ages and backgrounds, but there are many questions surrounding this topic: Why? How did this number get so high? Why is anxiety on the rise? Why is anxiety so common in Americans particularly? Why is anxiety so common today? There are many questions, myths, and misconceptions about anxiety, but at Banyan Mental Health, we are here to help answer them.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a common feeling linked with worried thoughts and associated physical changes like increased heart rate. While anxiety is natural, anxiety disorders are more extreme. Anxiety disorders involve intense fears with more severe physical responses that can interfere with a person’s daily life. There are many different types of anxiety disorders including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia Disorder, Social Anxiety, and Panic Disorders.

Why Is Anxiety So Common in America? What Changed?

Unfortunately, no one seems to have an exact answer, but there are some probable reasons as to why anxiety is so common. In particular, the United States has one of the highest rates of anxiety at 6.64% compared to most other countries that fall below this level.2

It should come as no surprise that many mental health consultants blame the rise of the internet, and social media especially, for anxiety in teens and twenty-somethings. It is thought that the various social media effects on mental health are largely negative. Comparing lifestyles depicted in social media and a fear of missing out (FOMO) are likely causes of anxiety as well as the way social media ironically makes people feel lonely.3 Not to mention the fact that social media is addictive, producing the same increase in dopamine that drugs give you. At this point, it appears anxiety and millennials are intertwined.

With the rise in technology also came an increase in artificial lighting and bad sleep habits. The blue light waves from your phone or computers late at night can have twice the adverse effects on your body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, than normal artificial light.4 Could something as simple as unplugging alleviate some of the anxiety in millennials?

Is Anxiety On The Rise?

Some researchers suggest that anxiety disorders are not necessarily increasing, but people are more open about their anxiety and actively seeking treatment. Years ago, mental health disorders and anxiety were taboo topics, but now anxiety has become a constant topic of discussion. Were rates of anxiety mostly underreported in the past?5 Even if this is the case, anxiety is certainly a topic that should be at the forefront of our conversations. With 6.8 million Americans currently struggling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, 6 million Americans with Panic Disorder, 15 million Americans with Social Anxiety Disorder, and 19 million Americans with Specific Phobia Disorder, anxiety is not going away any time soon.1

If you suffer from anxiety or another mental health disorder, you are not alone. Anxiety is so common and often linked to co-occurring disorders. Whether you or someone you love is looking for a mental health program, or specifically for anxiety treatment in Boca, we can help. We also provide co-occurring disorder treatment in Boca.


Seek immediate help by calling 888-280-4763. Our mental health facility can provide you with more information on how we may be able to improve your mental health and treat your anxiety.


Sources

  1. Anxiety and Depression Association of America - Facts & Statistics
  2. Our World In Data - Mental Health
  3. Psychology Today - Social Media, Loneliness, and Anxiety in Young People
  4. Thrive Global - Why are so many Teens and 20-Somethings Today Anxiety-Ridden?
  5. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health- Epidemiology of anxiety disorder in the 21st century

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Alyssa
Alyssa
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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