Anxiety Epidemic

Anxiety Epidemic
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Did I leave my oven on? Is this cab driver going to kidnap me? Will I be able to afford rent this month? If I park here am I going to get a ticket? I can’t afford a ticket. How do you feel? Do you feel… anxious?

Why so serious?

Life is full of stress. It is no coincidence that the rate of substance abuse is increasing as our lives become more complex in the 21st century. It feels like we have so much to think about. Along with substance abuse, it appears that the number of people experiencing depression and anxiety is increasing. What is making everybody so nervous? It’s 2014 after all, what is there to worry about?

Feeling threatened

Life is full of uncertainties. In the last decade we have experienced many tragic events that have worked to make people uneasy. For example, many children had never heard the word ‘terrorist’ before September 11, 2001. Now those same children have grown up in a world that fears these ‘terrorists’. As if to reinforce these fears, public safety officials were quick to label unknown groups as terrorists, making the threat of terrorism feel even more real. Violence is not the only reason that people may be more anxious. For example, the recession that occurred in 2008 caused millions of people to lose their financial confidence. Loss of financial security can cause fear and can affect a person's confidence. On top of terrorism and financial stress, there seems to be a recurring fear of a massive epidemic. Be it the bird flu, H1N1, or even something as ancient as measles, there is a constant fear of an uncontrollable fatal disease.

The future

It is easy to see why so many people are anxious. Throughout the last century there have been multiple catastrophes and disasters that have shaken the confidence of the general population. Be it financial disaster, terroristic threats, or even the chance of a fatal epidemic, there is always something to keep the population afraid. Is the new fear here to stay? I hope not.

 

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