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Anxiety: Is This The Age Of Anxiety?

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The 1920s and 1930s are considered the ‘Golden Age of Crime’ when authors such as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and Anthony Berkeley were household names whose work was eagerly lapped up by avid readers.

Approaching a century later, will this period come to be known as the ‘Golden Age of Anxiety’?

Today, household names are more likely to be one of the dozens of brands of anti-depressants prescribed to try and quell the ever rising time of anxiety and depression. Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre put this into stark figures with the number of anti-depressants given to patients in England having doubled in a decade (61 million prescriptions in 2015).

That’s not to suggest that any of these prescriptions were unwarranted, unnecessary or even unhelpful.

Yet shouldn’t we be looking deeper than this? Shouldn’t we be wondering what the hell is going on with us all that means anxiety and depression levels continue to rise despite the millions of extra prescriptions issued in a vain attempt to try and shut the door once the horse has already bolted?

Has the Nuclear Button Already Been Pressed?

I grew up in the 1980s with a vague awareness of the Cold War and an ever increasing alarm over someone pressing the nuclear button. I remember a leaflet that came through our door which proposed a ‘5 minute warning’ alarm in the event of an incoming nuke.

Yet today it seems that the most likely way that the human race is going to destroy itself is through imploding into the deepening pit of anxiety and depression.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics support labeling this as the age of anxiety. They reported an increase in the number of people who said they had experienced anxiety or depression. 19.7% of people said they had experienced anxiety or depression, up from 18.3% the year before.

And earlier this year a study from Cambridge University suggested 4 in every 100 people struggle with anxiety, with women being more than twice as likely to suffer than men.

Further studies have suggested that men with anxiety are more than twice as likely to die of cancer than those who do not have anxiety. A recent Ohio State University found that anxiety counteracts any benefits of healthy eating.

All in all it makes for a pretty stark situation and one that if it continues could lead to a doomsday scenario where anxiety and depression stops us functioning effectively as a society. After all there must be a tipping point where the impact of illness, insomnia, stress, worry and depression overwhelms us all.

We know that our beliefs, expectations and perceptions can create our stress and anxiety yet, rather than tackle these or even learn how to manage them before they become a problem, it seems likely that anxiety and depression rates will continue to creep up, prescriptions for anti-depressants will rise over 100 million and an ever growing army of millions will continue their individual battle day in day out to conquer their anxiety and depression.

…Which means that one day this must surely be come to be known as ‘The Golden Age of Anxiety and Depression’.

The Age of Anxiety – There is Another Way

Of course, there is another way which could start to dilute the prevalence of anxiety.

Rather than leave people isolated to develop anxiety and inadvertently learn to keep the cycle going, we can educate people in how to take control over their thoughts and emotions. Rather than wait until they hit rock bottom and plug them with pills or bung them on a three month waiting list for help, we can make sure people have the information they need to help themselves, now and in the future.

I’ve already written extensively about some of the ways that you can start to take back control over anxiety and you can check out some of those articles here:

Struggling With Anxiety? 5 Top Tips To Break Free

How To Reduce Anxiety

How To Reduce Anxiety – 7 Tips for Anxiety Relief

Implementing these steps as well as other effective techniques can soon put you back in charge of your life (like these people:

It’s all about understanding the pattern of anxiety, that is, whatever lead to you feeling anxious in the first place, how does your anxiety keep itself going now? Once you have that, everything else falls into place far quicker and gets you feeling better, back in control, and free from the age of anxiety, very soon.

So go read those articles mentioned above, consistently apply the techniques and I’ll look forward to learning of your future successes.

Dan Regan

Anxiety Management Expert

Abolish Anxiety

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