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One in five Americans feel they have some type of undiagnosed anxiety disorder, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 Americans has found that feelings of anxiety are extremely common in our day-to-day lives, with the average respondent experiencing five anxious moments on a daily basis.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CBD oil company Endoca, has lifted the lid on the country’s anxiety – and the top anxiety-inducers most commonly experienced – in order to better understand how it impacts the lives of Americans.
Over four in 10 respondents (43 percent) said they’ve been overwhelmed by severe feelings of anxiety, which has only been amplified by feelings of embarrassment, as almost three quarters of Americans report being self-conscious after each anxious moment.
Why? Of those who feel embarrassed, 58 percent confess it’s because they feel they should be a stronger person, with a further 53 percent saying they just feel different from everybody else.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, work was pinpointed as the number one source for anxiety with almost half of Americans identifying it as the biggest culprit, followed by social gatherings (47 percent) and money worries (45 percent). Four in 10 Americans even named their partner as the biggest anxiety-inducer.
“From social anxiety to panic attacks, mental health in America is a very real issue," said Henry Vincenty, CEO of Endoca. "Our research highlights that sadly there is still social stigma surrounding mental health issues as millions of Americans refuse to seek treatment because they feel embarrassed. More often than not, this anxiety is stimulated by the churning of everyday anxiety-inducers that can have lasting effects.”
It appears anxiety has perfectly acclimated itself with the digital age too, as more than a third of Americans (35 percent) attribute anxiety to social media.
The reasons why? The pressure to be ‘perfect’ was cited as the top cause, followed by the need to portray success and a pressure to be funny.
In fact, almost three quarters (72 percent) of Americans agreed that comparing their lives to others on social media makes them feel inadequate and that social media creates an overwhelming pressure to succeed.
Of course, there are real-world consequences to all this anxiety, taking a toll on our quality of sleep.
Nine in 10 Americans polled lose sleep to anxiety with the average respondent losing an average of two hours of sleep every night, equating to 730 per year – or an entire month of sleep.
Despite this, optimism remains with eight in 10 believing that anxiety is more socially acceptable than it used to be.
And there are tried and true ways to stave off these feelings of dread. Over half say that they turn to exercise to calm down, with reading, watching TV/movies and meditation also being popular solutions.
“For the millions of Americans struggling with anxiety disorders – diagnosed and undiagnosed – it’s important to be proactive about finding a way to manage it," Vincenty continued. "For those who don’t wish to go to the doctor for whatever reason, studies have shown that a holistic approach to anxiety management can be successful. Many people turn to natural remedies to alleviate anxiety, as well as a fifth of Americans surveyed currently using CBD oil.”
TOP 10 ANXIETY-INDUCERS
- Work 47%
- Social gatherings 44%
- Money worries 44%
- Health issues 43%
- Conflict 42%
- Meeting new people 40%
- Politics 40%
- My partner 40%
- Public speaking/performing 38%
- Large crowds 36%
TOP 10 SOCIAL MEDIA-RELATED ANXIETY-INDUCERS
- The pressure to be 'perfect' 35%
- Feeling the pressure to portray that I'm successful 32%
- Feeling the pressure to seem charming/funny 31%
- Knowingly depicting a heightened version of myself 29%
- Feeling the pressure to seem like I'm living my best life 28%
- I feel like I'm not living as good of a life as my friends/people I follow 27%
- Feeling the pressure to come off as active 26%
- I compare myself to others 24%
- I get FOMO seeing what my friends are up to without me 22%
- I spend too much time on it 21%