Anxiety and Distress Escalate in the United States

Anxiety levels around the world tend to vary, but they are comparatively higher in the United States versus anywhere else in the world. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, about one in five individuals experience a panic disorder in the United States (Go Stress).  In the United States alone, approximately 4.3 million individuals have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, which is just one form of an anxiety-related disease. The info graph (seen below) shows various prevalence rates of psychologically distressed/anxious adults in each region across the United States. This information was obtained thorough the Center for Disease Control, which highlights the most thorough statistics taken from 2007.

Created by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck Info graph site used: Information obtained through:
Created by: Leilani Spring Fischbeck
Info graph site used:
Information obtained through:

As seen above, the state with the highest serious psychological distress is Mississippi, with 6.6% of the population suffering with anxiety related symptoms. Second is Kentucky with 6.5% of the population in serious psychological distress, followed by Louisiana and Oklahoma with 5.3%. The state with the lowest psychological distress is Iowa at 2.3% of their general population.

Data shows that certain regions are affected by anxiety more than others. The latest breaking news has affected stress levels significantly in the United States. The recent world crisis with the Ebola epidemic has increased stress levels significantly, especially due to the most recent case of Ebola in the United States on Oct. 23, 2014. Although statistics for stress data in relation to Ebola in the U.S. is not available at this time, a recent poll shows a significant relationship to concerns about a potential Ebola outbreak in the U.S. and increased stress levels.

Citizens of the United States have their own ideas of why this issue does not seem to be subsidizing. Daniel Wendt, a professional skylight installer, has been a California citizen for 22 years. Wendt believes that the media instills fear into citizens, especially with the Ebola epidemic, and Americans are subjected to it daily.

“In the U.S., three people have been infected with Ebola. There are 250 million people in the US. There are easy ways to prevent getting Ebola,” he says, “ like don’t travel to the countries with Ebola. But realistically, there are worse things going on in the United States; and we’re choosing to freak out about it every day. More people die everyday from drunk driving. We should be more concerned about that.”

In addition, Wendt believes that unnecessary worrying about everyday things is what causes high anxiety levels.

“Everyone gets freaked out about nothing. Personally, when I am at work, and we cut a huge hole in someone’s ceiling, they’re in shock and they’re scared. They know what’s going to happen, but they freak out. They need reassurance,” he states, “and when they get it, everything is fine. It seems like everyone wants reassurance to feel better, and if they don’t have it, that’s when they remain nervous. We do not have enough reassurance at this moment.”

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