Anxiety is one of those mental illnesses that is looked at as very treatable, something that you don’t really need to worry about; but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Anxiety is one of the most devastating mental illnesses you could ever suffer from, and it seems like the youth of our current society are having to deal with it (almost more now than ever before). Of course, our youth has always been known to be a very large target in regards to anxiety. There are a lot of different reasons as to why anxiety is such a popular occurrence, but why does it happen? Not only that, but how do you go about treating it? In this article, we’re going to take a look at some interesting anxiety statistics and try to understand the illness a bit better.
You can never understand enough when it comes to a mental illness. When it feels like you know everything, something new for you to learn will pop up the next day. It’s a constant struggle, and it’s one that our youth is having to deal with at an alarming rate. If you’re a young adult and you’re reading this right now, you more than likely know what we’re getting at with that.
Anxiety and the Effects It Has on Society
It’s such a strong mental illness that society is almost crippled by anxiety. There are people than can barely leave their homes due to suffering from severe forms of anxiety, and there are situations in which medication can’t even help them out. To date, there are about 40 million adults (between the ages of 18 and 54) dealing with anxiety in the United States – that’s a whopping 18.1 percent. Some would say that the number is closer to 30%, which is even crazier than the original number at almost double the count. A lot of people who deal with anxiety never seek treatment, or don’t even know that they have problems with anxiety. That’s what makes it such a difficult mental illness to comprehend.
The “Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders”, which is a study commissioned by the ADAA (and was based on data that the association had gathered, publishing it in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry), stated that anxiety can cause the United States a whopping $42 billion annually. The total mental health bill for all of the United States is $148 billion, to put that number in perspective. Approximately $22.84 billion of these costs have to do with the consistent use of healthcare services, in which people with anxiety seek out (trying to seek relief from their physical ailments, stemming from anxiety).
People who suffer from anxiety are at a higher risk to go to the doctor for seemingly all the wrong reasons, as well as being at a higher risk for being hospitalized for various psychiatric disorders (when compared to those that don’t have anxiety, of course).
A recent survey showed that around 41 percent of employees (from all sorts of industries) suffered from anxiety in the workplace, which can have a major impact on the development of our youth.
Why Is It Such a Big Deal?
Not only do the medication requirements keep growing, but the numbers that we are seeing these days are astounding. There’s a few reasons why it’s such a big deal, and a lot of people don’t take anxiety seriously – they look at it as a “secondary illness”. In the end, it’s a problem for many people, and needs to be dealt with accordingly. Here are some statistics that show just how awful anxiety can be for our society as a whole (and not just those that suffer from it):
- Around 30 percent of the entire adult population within North America has an anxiety issue of some sort
- Only one third of those dealing with anxiety will seek out proper treatment, and out of that amount, only ten percent of them will actually go through with the proper treatment process
- The individuals that experience anxiety are at a higher risk of developing drug addictions (and are more prone to abusing prescriptions)
- About 65% of North Americans will take prescription medications on a daily basis, with 43% of them taking mood alerting prescriptions on the regular
- Recreational drugs are a great go-to for people suffering from anxiety, as it allows them to go through with the coping process easier; that’s why developing addictions becomes harder to avoid
- 10% of Canadians admit that they have an alcohol problem, and that number could only grow if people weren’t lying about their situation – it’s hard to imagine that anxiety doesn’t attribute to this
- Alcohol-related car accidents are the number one killer of young adults/teens, which can prove just how powerful suffering from anxiety is – it’s also associated with suicides, homicides and many other crimes (which could also be a direct result of severe anxiety).
Usage of Marijuana
The most common recreational drug there is has to be marijuana, and while some people would say that it’s a medical miracle, others have a different story to tell. A lot of people who smoke marijuana constantly develop forms of anxiety, and it some cases, it can get to the point where they can barely function anymore. There are tons of different studies that talk about the relationship between marijuana and anxiety, some of them being good, while others are not so good. If you think that smoking marijuana will be a great way to reduce your stress and anxiety levels, you might be wrong – it could have the complete opposite effect. The whole point is to make sure that you’re coping with the mental illness properly, not making it worse!
Marijuana can attribute to anxiety in many different ways, such as:
- Causing panic attack in teens and young adults, as many studies have showed. Not only that, but it can also result in prolonged issues with anxiety. The perfect example would be a recent online poll that was conducted, and around 40% of those that tried marijuana said that it had contributed to their anxiety order (in one way or another). Of that 40%, 16% of people said that the anxiety was a direct result of pot use. 72% of people also stated that they had a negative experience with marijuana (also know as pot) and anxiety).
- Another recent studied showed that fatal car accidents and marijuana go together, as accidents involving the drug have tripled over the past years (within the United States).
- Marijuana usage in teens has dramatically increased when compared to the previous numbers we were used to (over the last ten years). Despite the fact that marijuana can cause permanent cognitive impairment if you begin smoking it too young.
The Symptoms: How Anxiety Affects Your Life
Living with anxiety isn’t easy, and anybody that has to deal with this mental illness will tell you that much. For the most part, people are going to talk about how they don’t feel like they “belong”, but that isn’t the only thing – it seems like there are layers to anxiety itself. Some of the most common symptoms are having a tough time dealing with everything on your plate, or even just experience copious amounts of stress; but there is much more than that. Some other things to watch out for would be:
- Feeling like you can’t control either your health or life
- Experiencing much higher levels of stress than usual
- Struggling with self-esteem and your feeling of self-wroth
- Feeling nervous is any sort of social situation
- Having a tough time dealing with pressure
- Having much higher expectations for yourself than you do for other
- Feeling like love is performance based
- Being a workaholic, when there is really no need to be
- Keeping yourself busy with meaningless tasks
- Visiting the doctor more often, for seemingly no reason
If you suffer from anxiety, I strongly suggest that you seek out help from professionals. It will make your life much easier to manage, not only for right now, but in the future as well. Anxiety is a tough illness to deal with, and it can be a battle to understand how you should approach it. Hopefully this article has given you enough information to work with, and you’ll be able to make an effective effort to rid yourself of anxiety. Sometimes just going for something as simple as a massage (every couple of weeks) could help you out, but you’ll never know until you give it a shot. You don’t need to resort to drugs and other kinds of medication, although if the treatment is effective, it’s obviously suggested that you stick with it.
You can defeat anxiety, even if it takes a decent amount of time – you’ve just got to be willing to stick it out! Take the advice of medical professionals and soak up whatever information you can find around; that’s the best way to handle it.