All of us have felt anxiety at one time or another, a big test, public speaking, or social stress. However, some people experience anxiety more than others. Disproportionate amounts of anxiety can sometimes be caused by an underlying issue, most commonly, an anxiety disorder that effects 40 million adults in the US. Let’s face it, anxiety is peaking in all of us, right now, reaching mountainous levels. Whether or not we have been diagnosed with a disorder, it’s a crazy time.
I know for myself, I have either been on the brink of crying and wanting to climb in bed and pull the covers over my head to downright anger about a pandemic that is out of my control. All the fallout that has come from Covid and all that we haven’t even seen or imagined is heartbreaking. From human loss to job loss to businesses closing permanently, the effects are tremendous and can do a real number on our emotions.
Let’s back up and look at something. How common is anxiety when NOT in a pandemic?
An estimated 31% of all adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2020)
Anxiety disorders are more prevalent in women than in men in the United States and around the world. (NIMH, 2017) (Our World in Data, 2018)
Specific phobias are the most commonly occurring anxiety disorder, affecting over 19 million adults in the U.S. (ADAA, 2020)
There is a good bit of us who suffer from some sort of anxiety even before Covid struck. Unfortunately, we don’t have any good numbers to compare then and now. It’s all too new, but there are some warning signs to look out for. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) says to take action if you or a loved one or friend are showing signs of acute anxiety.