Whenever you have to take an exam or give an interview, you have a certain feeling of nervousness. This is tension you may experience after thinking about some upcoming event that will greatly influence your life. In situations such as the ones mentioned before, having such sentiments is completely normal.
Many people may also call these feelings ‘anxiety’ and it is not uncommon to be among the people who go through this. However, the high levels of ‘anxiety’ that worries health professionals and are also on the rise in recent years are totally different.
In accordance with Barnes and Nobles, the sales of books related to anxiety and its management are too higher than before. Statistically, there was a twenty-five percent rise in sales of such books in August 2017.
What explains this situation? Many would say that it simply shows an increase in awareness regarding anxiety and mental health in general. People just want to explore their mental capacity and know more about what limit their thinking and actions.
However, the prevalence of anxiety disorders, their diagnosis, and prescribed medication show it is not as simple as the aforementioned view. A big number of people also call the new generation to be anxiety-ridden or anxiety to be the ‘plague’ of the modern age.
Additionally, it is a common belief that anxiety disorders are more prevalent in Western countries than others but is this really true? Continue reading to know more about this topic.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an umbrella term used for a whole variety of psychological disorders. The everyday situations like feeling nervous before an important is normal. The real issue arises when it becomes an issue big enough to interfere with performing the most trivial activities.
In a case like this, a person may feel that the simplest of tasks may be super hard or too embarrassing. He may even attach negative connotations to every other thing.
Anxiety may occur independently and as the only symptoms or may come in combination with a range of other signs of other mental disorders. It can potentially be a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and trauma.
The mental disorder can occur in various forms. For instance, social anxiety is popular among young adults and adolescents. It can greatly restrict a person’s abilities and behaviors.
For some, actions such as passing by a crowd of people, giving presentations, and eating food in front of others may also become difficult.
One interesting take on anxiety is that there is an argument that says anxiety may be an evolutionary aspect which helps in detecting danger.
This leads to the questions – is the rise of anxiety necessary to tackle the world today? Is there an actual increase in the cases in Western society or is there an increase in dialogue over mental health which makes it easier to look for help instead of hiding it?
Is Anxiety A Bigger Problem in the West?
To know more about the issue, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry looked at 147,261 adults from 26 countries. The conclusion of the research showed that people in wealthier nations do tend to experience symptoms of anxiety more than those of people residing in other countries.
Read the study here.
In fact, the population of the United States alone has more cases of diagnosis than any other countries including the ones in Africa and Asia even though it is much more well off economically.
However, the growth of population and the downfalls in the economies shows that the US might not be at the lead for a longer time and anxiety also seems to be becoming more common elsewhere.
For the time being, it is the US and Western world in general that has more cases of anxiety. The reasons for this are many. One may not explain all the cases. Some say it is because life is more stressful while others say it is due to a shift in identities and society.
Conclusively, anxiety does seem to be on the rise, especially in the Western world in accordance with research and statistics. Increase in cases in other countries is sufficient evidence to show that the new generation is indeed experiencing an epidemic of anxiety disorders.