Itis the body’s response to stress. Everyone can feel anxious about a particular event in their life, such as the first day of college, a job interview, or giving a public presentation. However, if a person’s feelings of anxiety are extreme and persist for an extended period, then they may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders have cause problems in many parts of someone’s life, such as relationships with friends and family, school performance, and job satisfaction. Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in America, with over 40 million people suffering from an anxiety disorder at any given time.1I
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, including:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is long-lasting and excessive worry about everyday things, such as work deadlines and chores, and it can persist for months at a time. It can also cause physical symptoms like tension headaches, high blood pressure, dizziness with low energy levels, and difficulty concentrating.
It is estimated that 5.7% of U.S. adults experience a GAD at some time in their lives.2 However, GAD can often go unnoticed as people may not experience any symptoms until the condition becomes highly severe or even debilitating. Most people who have GAD also have other mental health problems such as depression or social phobia.
Social anxiety is the fear of social situations. The most noticeable symptom of a social anxiety disorder (SAD) is feeling that you might do something embarrassing or humiliating when meeting new people or speaking to others.
People SAD may worry about how they look, what others think of them, and whether people will judge them harshly. SAD is one of the most widespread mental health disorders in America today. Around 12.1% of U.S. adults experience a SAD at some time in their lives.3
In recent years, the term eco-anxiety has come to describe a concern about all of the environmental changes that are happening in our world and their effect on humanity. Some people who experience eco-anxiety may find that their worries or fears lead them to adopt an extreme approach such as eating only organic food, not flying on airplanes, or being vegan.
Eco-anxiety is not just a modern phenomenon. People have been worried about environmental change for centuries, but it has increased in recent years with all the new information and awareness that we have access to today.
Doctors may perform a physical exam to assess whether any medical condition or medication contributes to the symptoms. You may be asked to discuss your symptoms, their frequency, and in what situations they appear.
Your doctor may determine a diagnosis based on the Criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Self-report questionnaires about symptoms of social anxiety are another effective way of making a diagnosis.
From January to June 2019, only one in ten adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. 4
That number grew to about four in ten adults who are suffering from anxiety or depressive disorder during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, 56% of young adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. 4
The closures of universities and loss of income are some of the reasons for the rise of mental health issues in young adults during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, 53% of adults in households with job loss or lower incomes reported higher rates of symptoms of mental illness compared to 32% of adults in households without a job or income loss. 4
Research shows that job loss can lead to increased depression, anxiety, distress, and low self-esteem.
Women with children are more likely to experience anxiety or depressive disorder than men with children (49% vs. 40%).4
Mothers may be at risk for poor mental health as many are experiencing challenges with the closings of schools and lack of childcare.
Around 41% of Non-Hispanic White adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. To compare, 48% of Non-Hispanic Black adults and Hispanic or Latino adults (46%) reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder.4
Communities of color have historically experienced challenges getting access to mental health care. The pandemic has had a greater effect on the health of communities of color than Non-Hispanic White adults.
It is estimated that 42% of essential workers are likely to report symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, compared to 30% of non-essential workers.4
Essential workers are at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus than non-essential workers.
Access to mental health care was a concern even before the pandemic. In 2018, only 44% of 6.5 million nonelderly adults who experienced severe psychological distress reported seeing a mental health professional. Adults with serious mental health issues were more likely not to be insured than adults without severe psychological distress (20% vs. 13%) or able to afford mental health care or counseling (21% vs. 3%).4