Anxiety Statistics - Featured Image

30 Intriguing Anxiety Statistics & Facts You Need to Know

by Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD

Stress is something most of us experience at some point or another. It is a normal, albeit unpleasant, part of life. It can affect all of us in different ways and at different times. We normally feel stress due to external factors such as work, relationship or money problems.

For most of us, stress passes almost as quickly as it arises. But for some of us, the stress persists. When this happens, we experience anxiety. That’s only one way to define anxiety.

The following anxiety statistics and facts about the disorder will show you just how prevalent it is in today’s day and age. Hopefully, knowing this information will also help you better understand your condition and help you manage it.

Top Anxiety Statistics and Facts to Remember

  • 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder.
  • Women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men.
  • Only 36% of people actually receive treatment for anxiety.
  • Coffee has been shown to more than double the negative effects of anxiety.
  • 90% of people have suffered from stomach disorders shortly before being diagnosed with anxiety.
  • Being away from your phone is 9 times more likely to cause anxiety than losing your credit card.
  • Over 40% of zoos now use puppies to reduce anxiety.
  • Excitement can reduce anxiety by up to 62%.
  • 42% of antidepressants work by enlarging certain areas of your brain.
  • Creative individuals are much more likely to develop a mental health disorder.

Anxiety Disorder Statistics on Prevalence and Demographics

Anxiety Statistics - Anxious

1. 4% of the world’s population suffers from anxiety.

(Our World in Data)

Anxiety statistics worldwide show that around 4% of the world’s population is suffering from it, but not all of them are aware they have the disorder and remain undiagnosed.

2. How many people in the US have anxiety?

(Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

40 million. That’s right, 40 million adults have anxiety in the US, which is over 18% of the population. Anxiety is often accompanied by depression, as nearly 50% of those diagnosed with depression also have an anxiety disorder.

3. 8% of children and teenagers worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder.

(DoSomething.org)

Teenage anxiety statistics show that around 8% of children and teenagers in the world have an anxiety disorder. Interestingly, most people suffering from anxiety disorders develop symptoms before turning 21.

Although not being restricted or exclusive to teens, there seems to be a definite correlation between anxiety and its development during our formative years.

4. Women are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety as men.

(Harvard)

Women have a higher probability of developing anxiety disorders than men unless we consider social anxiety, in which case there is no gender disparity. This is probably due to the hormonal changes that women experience, something which influences their capacity to deal with, and process, stress-related emotions.

5. Generalized anxiety disorders are more likely to occur in wealthier countries.

(Medical News Today)

Based on generalized anxiety disorder statistics, 5% of people have this mental disorder in high-income countries compared to 1.6% in low-income countries. With anxiety in the US being in the top percentile of the anxiety stats.

6. 25 million people in the European Union suffer from anxiety.

(OECD)

According to the report on the prevalence of mental disorders in Europe, anxiety disorders are the most common. 5.4% of the population of European Union suffer from anxiety. 

7. Panic disorders affect over 6 million people in the USA.

(Anxiety Centre)

The anxiety epidemic in America is rife. According to figures, approximately 6 million people in the US suffer from panic disorders. These disorders often co-occur with depression. Women are twice as likely to suffer from this disorder as men.

8. 2.2 million Americans suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

(Anxiety Centre)

Over the years there have been many debates as to the answer to the question, “Is OCD a form of anxiety?” However, OCD is now being classified as an anxiety disorder, and anxiety in the US is acknowledged as being equally prevalent among men and women.

The condition is widespread, yet masked. People hide behind the stigma factor of mental health disorders. As a result, people are not seeking advice regarding their condition, and medical professionals are not able to identify and treat sufferers of the condition.

9. 19 million Americans suffer from specific phobias.

(Verywell Mind)

This type of anxiety disorder affects about 9% of US adults. Specific phobias usually involve irrational fear of insects, germs, heights, or flying.

10. Almost 6% of children worldwide suffer from math anxiety.

(Math Goodies)

Children with poor mathematical skills aren’t necessarily bad at math because they are “ungifted.” There is a phenomenon called “math anxiety” that makes people perform worse, which sometimes leads to math avoidance, which leads to lesser knowledge and consequently more math anxiety.

11. People with parents who suffer from anxiety are 2–3 times more likely to also develop the condition.

(NCBI)

Many have often wondered: is anxiety genetic? And indeed, people are more likely to have an anxiety disorder if they have a family member with the condition.

Genetic predisposition is just one of the risk factors for developing an anxiety disorder. As most anxiety facts indicate, other risk factors include a traumatic experience, drug or alcohol use, other medical conditions, and environmental factors.

12. Anxiety levels usually peak between the ages of 40 to 60 years of age.

(The Guardian)

This two-decade-long danger zone between 40 to 60 years of age, is generally known to be the time when adults are prone to the onset of anxiety disorders.

13. Only 36% of people actually receive treatment for anxiety.

(Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Only about a third of people with an anxiety disorder actually receive treatment for the condition. According to the ADAA, only about 36% of people with an anxiety disorder get treated, although there are a number of treatment options available.

This apprehension to seek help may well be due to the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. People generally view anything related to mental health as a flaw or something to be ashamed of. In reality, though, nothing could be further from the truth. Anxiety is a widespread problem, but one that can definitely be treated expeditiously and conclusively.

14. On average, people with social anxiety wait for 10 years or more before they ask for professional help.

(Huffington Post)

Over one-third of US citizens are reluctant to go to the doctors to get the treatment, though they recognize the symptoms themselves.

Interesting Facts About Anxiety

Anxiety Statistics - Panic

15. 93% of people with anxiety have been proven to view the world differently.

(Mental Floss)

People with anxiety perceive the world differently because their neurological pathways tend to  lump both safe and unsafe things together, generalizing everything as “unsafe.”

In addition to viewing the world around them as unsafe, sufferers of anxiety also suffer from elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone released by stress. Prolonged exposure to/production of cortisol affects the immune system, leaving sufferers open to a variety of illnesses and diseases.

Of these diseases, depression seems to be a very prevalent one amongst anxiety sufferers. As depression statistics worldwide show that anxiety normally goes hand in hand with depression.

16. Over 90% of people with anxiety have suffered from stomach disorders shortly before their anxiety issues developed.

(UCLA)

Several studies at UCLA have revealed that people who currently suffer from anxiety had almost all previously suffered from a recent stomach illness. Results from numerous brain scans taken before and after patients had ingested probiotics, revealed stomach bacteria levels had a direct correlation to the connectivity of the brain.

17. Coffee has been shown to more than double the negative effects of anxiety.

(Livestrong)

As one of the lesser known mental health facts, caffeine can cause a sense of impending doom, especially on those prone to anxiety. The hormonal spike which caffeine causes, which otherwise acts as an energy boost for most people, actually acts as an anxiety trigger in people that suffer from anxiety disorders.

18. Music can reduce stress and anxiety in animals, in over 85% of cases.

(iCalmPet)

Certain types of music have been proven to help with anxiety and can reduce anxiety in dogs, which can be useful during fireworks, thunderstorms, and separation. In a study when solo piano at 50–60 bpm was played, 85% became calmer, and over half of the dogs went to sleep.

19. Over 40% of zoos now use puppies to reduce anxiety.

(National Geographic)

Some zoos raise puppies with captive cheetah kittens to help with anxiety and to reduce anxiety, stress, and to develop social skills. The practice, although not yet widespread, has fostered excellent results, and is slowly becoming a more accepted practice in zoos around the world.

20. Using multiple forms of media increases the likelihood of developing anxiety by 53%.

(MSU Today)

Recent stress statistics show that using multiple forms of media at the same time has been linked to psychological disorders such as anxiety. With our addiction to media and simultaneous tools with which we consume media, we are causing a cascade of anxiety amongst the general population of the world. Something that seems to be on the increase, not decrease.

21. Free play as children is linked to a reduction in anxiety cases in adults.

(Psychology Today)

Over half of the cases showed a 50% decrease in anxiety factors within children that were able to play freely. According to teen anxiety statistics, lack of free play for children, combined with little to no freedom to choose who they play with, has been proven to lead to mental health problems. Studies show that children who experience these types of environments during childhood are significantly more likely to develop high anxiety and psychological disorders later in life.

22. Being away from your phone is 9 times more likely to cause anxiety than losing your credit card.

(Scientific American)

The feelings of anxiety created by not having your phone are called nomophobia. In the current phone-obsessed times that we live in, it’s no surprise that cases of nomophobia are rising at an alarming rate.

23. Millennials represent one-third of all CBD consumers, and many of them use it to relieve anxiety.              

(Consumer Reports)

According to anxiety and depression statistics, Millennials represent one-third of all CBD consumers who use it to deal with these states, while Baby Boomers make up for only 12%.

24. Excitement can reduce anxiety by up to 62%.

(Huffington Post)

Getting excited helps with performance anxiety more than trying to calm down. This counterintuitive fact is now being implemented in many fields of professional sports and the entertainment industry, with the results showing positive results.

25. 42% of antidepressants work by enlarging certain areas of your brain.

(Nature)

SSRI antidepressants (Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, etc.) actually make certain areas of your brain that are associated with positive self-thought, bigger. These areas are small in a lot of people with anxiety.

Anxiety and Public Figures

Anxiety Statistics - Stage

26. Creative individuals are much more likely to develop a mental health disorder.

(CNN)

Statistics on anxiety show that creativity has been linked to anxiety, and “madness,” with writers being 121% more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder than the general population, and 50% more likely to kill themselves.

With their artistic–emotionally volatile predisposition, creative people tend to internalize much of their hardships and struggles. This, in turn, results in them torturing themselves with a feedback loop of anxiety.

27. Mental health statistics show that anxiety and other related mental health illnesses are documented as affecting as much as 40% of all US celebrities.

(WebMD)

Dan Harris, the co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline had a panic attack on air in 2004 and wrote a New York Times bestseller about his battles with anxiety 10 years later. The struggles that Dan faced highlight how even those that appear mentally strongest amongst us, are actually just as vulnerable as the rest of us to being affected by anxiety.

28. Numerous comedians have admitted that they struggle with anxiety and depression. 

(Prevention.com)

Ryan Reynolds is reported to have anxiety. During a candid interview with the New York Times in May 2018, the acclaimed actor was quoted discussing what anxiety feels like, and was reported as saying “I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety.”

Yes, anxiety in America is present even in celebrities. The star is just one of many Hollywood celebrities (some of them even comedians) who have come forward and openly admitted long term struggles with anxiety and depression.

29. Moody or grumpy behavior has been documented as being 9 times more likely to be caused by underlying anxiety issues.

(Health Central)

Harrison Ford isn’t grumpy in all his interviews, he actually suffers from anxiety and a fear of public speaking.

30. Anxiety can actually triple the chances of a public performance being successful.

(PopMatters)

The American stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg suffered from severe stage fright. As a result of his performance anxiety, he developed his signature sunglasses and long hair look, and his unique style of delivery.

Anxiety Statistics - Stressed

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a disorder, something that falls within the categorization of mental illnesses that traps the sufferer in a feedback loop of stress, resulting in them continually experiencing stress, well after the event in question has actually passed.

You may be wondering, “What causes anxiety?” The answer to what triggers anxiety is complex. The condition can be caused by genetic, psychological and environmental factors, all of which can trigger anxiety disorders. This makes anxiety a tricky disorder to diagnose, but a relatively straightforward one to remedy.

Anxiety also comes in different forms. Below are the main types of anxiety:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Generalized anxiety disorder causes a person to feel generally anxious most days, constantly worrying about lots of different things.
  • Specific Phobias: A person feels very fearful about a particular object or situation and may go to great lengths to avoid it. For example, having an injection, traveling on a plane, etc. There are hundreds of different types of phobias.
  • Social Anxiety: A person has an intense fear of being criticized, embarrassed or humiliated, even in everyday situations, such as speaking publicly, eating in public, being assertive at work or making small talk. According to social anxiety statistics the condition, although being examined and addressed by health experts, is still prevalent within most of the world.
  • Panic Disorder: A person has panic attacks, which are intense, overwhelming, and often uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with a range of physical symptoms. Someone having a panic attack may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and excessive perspiration. Sometimes, people experiencing a panic attack think they are having a heart attack or are about to die. If a person has recurrent panic attacks or persistently fears having one for more than a month, they’re said to have panic disorder.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): A person has ongoing unwanted/intrusive thoughts and fears that cause anxiety. Although the person may acknowledge these thoughts as silly, they often try to relieve their anxiety by carrying out certain behaviors or rituals. For example, a fear of germs and contamination can lead to constant washing of hands and clothes. OCD statistics show that the condition is on the rise.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This can happen after a person experiences a traumatic event (e.g. war, assault, accident, disaster). Symptoms can include difficulty relaxing, upsetting dreams or flashbacks of the event, and avoidance of anything related to the event. PTSD is diagnosed when a person has symptoms for at least a month.

As you can see, there are many different types of anxiety disorders. The effects of anxiety can be devastating because the sufferer is in a state of constant turmoil. According to anxiety statistics, the condition is one of the most common health issues in the US, and it is estimated that over 300 million people globally are affected by anxiety disorders.

Thankfully though, anxiety is a very treatable condition, provided sufferers seek out medical intervention from their healthcare practitioners.

How to Help Anxiety

Anxiety disorder treatment can include one or more of the following:

Counseling. Many people with anxiety disorders benefit from a special form of counseling called cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. A mental health professional trained in the CBT approach can help you work through the thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and triggers contributing to your anxiety problems.

They can also teach you coping skills. Part of CBT may involve slowly introducing you to things that people with certain types of anxiety disorders may have been avoiding or extremely afraid of until they feel more comfortable with them. CBT is a short-term treatment and requires you to practice the skills during and after treatment.

Support Groups. You are not alone. Anxiety disorder support groups are a great way to share your experiences and learn from the experiences of others.

Self-Help. There are some things you can do on your own to help keep you feeling better. Statistics about anxiety show that regular exercise, eating well, managing stress, spending time with friends and family, spirituality, and monitoring your use of alcohol and other drugs can help keep anxiety from getting worse, coming back, or turning into extreme anxiety.

Talking to your doctor, asking questions, and feeling in charge of your own health are also very important. Always talk to your doctor about what you’re doing on your own.

Medication. Anti-anxiety medications can be used in combination with counseling to reduce your body’s response to anxiety.

To Sum Up

Although these anxiety statistics may seem overwhelming, the condition and the disorders it brings are among the most treatable of mental illnesses. There are a few different things you can do that have been shown by research to help the most. It’s important to know that you are not alone, far from it. Many people experience anxiety today, and talking to a professional could be a good idea and nothing to be ashamed of.

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