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Anxiety in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Anxiety is a normal human emotion of worry, fear, tension or apprehension about what is to come. Everyone experiences anxiety to greater or lesser degrees and although it is unpleasant, it is usually fleeting. However, when anxiety is extreme and persists over an extended period of time, it can be debilitating. Such cases are referred to as anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobias, and social anxiety disorder. Symptoms of such disorders include panic and fear, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, difficulty sleeping, nausea, and dizziness. As of 2019, it was estimated that around four percent of the global population suffered from anxiety disorders, making anxiety, along with depression, one of the most common mental health disorders in the world.

How common is anxiety in the United States?

In the United States, it is estimated that around 6.2 percent of the population suffers from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders in the U.S. are more common among females than among males, with 7.7 percent of females suffering from such disorders, compared to 4.6 percent of males. General feelings of anxiety which do not necessarily meet the conditions of a disorder are much more common. A survey carried out in 2019 and published by the CDC found that 19 percent of females and 12 percent of males in the U.S. experienced symptoms of anxiety in the past weeks before being surveyed. The COVID-19 pandemic has had massive mental health ramifications around the world and surveys have shown that the pandemic increased feelings of depression, isolation, worry, and anxiety in many people in the United States. A survey from the CDC that has run through the pandemic and has measured symptoms of anxiety disorder among U.S. adults found that at the beginning of 2022, almost 32 percent of females and 24 percent of males had symptoms of anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder treatment

In many cases it is possible to manage and prevent anxiety at home through relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga, stress management, exercise, sleep, and abstaining from drugs and alcohol. Anxiety disorders, however, are generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. In 2019, it was estimated that just over three percent of people in the United States were taking anti-anxiety medication, with this share increasing with age. The states with the highest percentage of people taking anti-anxiety medication are Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Some of the most common anti-anxiety medications in the U.S. include alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), and clonazepam (Klonopin). In 2019, there were around 17.53 million prescriptions of alprazolam (Xanax) filled in the United States, a decrease from previous years.


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