Our National Anxiety Epidemic

Guest blogger Cherilynn Veland, MSW, LCSW is the author of the blog (and soon to be book) Stop Giving It Away which provides support, encouragement, and guidance for women caring greatly.

Recently I came across this article in The Atlantic: Trickle-Down Distress: How America’s Broken Meritocracy Drives Our National Anxiety Epidemic. It was written by Maura Kelly and, if you haven’t seen it, it’s good food for thought.

Kelly asserts many startling statistics about anxiety and how pervasive it is in this country. Some scary statistics and assertions that stood out for me are:

  1. As a society, we in the United States have more than doubled our spending on anti-anxiety drugs since 1997.
  2. “According to the 2002 World Mental Health Survey, people in developing-world countries such as Nigeria are up to five times less likely to show clinically significant anxiety levels than Americans, despite having more basic life-necessities to worry about,” writes Taylor Clark, author of Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool.

Kelly also asserts that we women are more than doubly likely to have anxiety disorders and that, “millions of women feel that they are to blame if they cannot manage to rise up the ladder as fast as men and also have a family and an active home life (and be thin and beautiful to boot).”

Well, we already know that, but thanks for spelling it out…

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