There are approximately 300 million people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder worldwide.
Anxiety Epidemic in the US
Amidst an unprecedented surge in anxiety levels across the US, the nation has earned the unenviable title of the most anxious country in the world, with no sign of abatement. The severity of this issue becomes evident when considering that one in eight children are affected by anxiety disorders, with a prevalence of severe anxiety disorder reaching 5.9% over their lifetime.
The impact extends to the broader population, with about 105 million experiencing mild to severe anxiety at some point in their life. Further, it is stated that 19% of adults are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder across the US, and since the COVID-19 pandemic, global anxiety has increased by 25%. Veterans and individuals with attention-deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder also face health needs that often intertwine with anxiety and other mental health conditions.
There is a shortage of therapists to meet the growing demand, and psychiatrists are picking up the slack, thus resulting in more drug prescriptions. Parents of children ages 12 – 18 who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are frustrated that they can’t find their children effective relief. Their children frequently change therapists and are prescribed multiple medications, some of which are psychotropic and have severe side effects. Therapy is expensive and often non-reimbursed. Finding a good therapist may be difficult. Parents express concern over their children’s growing brains and the effect of medications and non-continuous therapy.