If you find yourself becoming more anxious lately, please know that you are not alone. In fact, anxiety seems to be a national epidemic or a global pandemic.

More Americans suffering from stress, anxiety and depression, study finds–CBS News, April 17, 2017

anxiety

Citing a recent study conducted by NYU Langone Medical Center, CBS reported that more Americans than ever before are stressed, depressed, and anxiety-ridden. The lead manager of the study said: “Mental illness is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. And access to care for the mentally ill is getting worse.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/stress-anxiety-depression-mental-illness-increases-study-finds/   This news story attributed the major reason for increasing anxiety to economic/financial worries. Even though financial issues are certainly one of the biggest concerns in anxiety, I think their conclusions are shallow and limiting.

Another interesting story on high level of anxiety was published by The Guardian on April 16, 2017. Will Hutton, principal of Hertford College and Oxford, wrote: We live with an epidemic of anxiety. In 1980, 4% of Americans suffered a mental disorder associated with anxiety. Today half do. The trends in Britain are similar. A third of Britons will experience anxiety disorder  at some stage in their life, with an explosion of reported anxiety among teenagers and young adults. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, attention deficit disorder and profound eating problems afflict our young as never before. Hutton concluded that only fundamental social change can defeat the anxiety epidemic. I can’t agree with him more.

If you believe that anxiety is prevalent only in western countries, think again. The Times of India said one out of every four Indians suffer from anxiety disorders, while 10% of the  Indian populations are clinically depressed (Oct 6, 2013). The rest of the world may not be that much different from these statistics.

How can we not be trapped in anxiety in the midst of increasing terror-attacks, social unrest, economic uncertainties, political shenanigans, information overloads, and crazy weather patterns? Clearly, all of us are being challenged at many different levels.

 

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